Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on one of Europe’s most in-demand young stars, with a whole host of giants linked with a swoop.
The Catalan outfit have an issue in defence, as aside from the fact that speculation continues to shroud Samuel Umtiti’s future at the Nou Camp in doubt, as noted by the Manchester Evening News, they are already light in that department.
While the French international has established a crucial partnership with Gerard Pique in the heart of the backline, one that has earned the second-best defensive record in La Liga after 31 games, there isn’t much behind that duo for Ernesto Valverde to be confident in.
Yerry Mina has yet to entirely convince since his January arrival while ageing stalwart Thomas Vermaelen has had his history with injuries. In turn, Barcelona should be looking to strengthen regardless of whether or not Umtiti stays.
That could happen, as The Express, via Telefoot, report that the La Liga leaders are targeting RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, and are preparing a whopping €100m bid for him.
The 19-year-old has impressed to date, making 73 senior appearances while featuring for France at every youth level. Further, with the report adding that Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and AC Milan have all been credited with an interest in him, that goes a long way in itself to proving how highly regarded he is.
To add further fuel to the fire, the player himself has named Barcelona as one of the clubs that he dreamed of playing for, and so it remains to be seen whether or not a move to Spain materialises in the summer.
“As a youngster, you dream of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, but to get there, you have to work,” he told Telefoot.
“I’m very proud of myself, very happy. I have to keep going in the same direction. I have to aim higher. My preference for the moment is Leipzig. Afterwards, we’ll see.”
As seen in the videos below, it’s clear as to why Upamecano is attracting so much attention. Physically strong with pace and technical quality to look composed on the ball, he ticks plenty of boxes for a modern-day centre-half.
Coupled with Barcelona’s need to strengthen in that department, a swoop at the end of the season makes sense, but time will tell if a €100m bid is made, and subsequently accepted.
— ???????????? (@haru_mercato) October 12, 2017
Dayot upamecano’ Defensor francés .. Piensa en el futuro .. Piensa cuidadosamente https://t.co/NyrkfIwMwy
— barca 4 life (@FcbUae95) September 29, 2017