Barcelona forced to pay €35m release clause to secure important summer signing

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Barcelona boasted the second-best defensive record in La Liga last season, but reports claim that they could be set to bolster their backline further.

The Catalan giants conceded just 29 goals in 38 league games, which was undoubtedly a key factor in their title triumph while they also picked up the Copa del Rey.

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However, beyond first-choice pairing Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique, coach Ernesto Valverde doesn’t have the greatest depth with January signing Yerry Mina and often-injured stalwart Thomas Vermaelen available as back-up options.

Mina enjoyed an impressive World Cup this summer and could be handed a bigger role after being restricted to limited minutes last season, but according to Mundo Deportivo, via RAC1, Barcelona are ready to splash out €35m to meet Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet’s release clause to force his transfer after negotiations were snubbed by their domestic rivals.

The 23-year-old has only been with Sevilla for the past two seasons, but he played a key role last year having made 54 appearances in all competitions.

It follows a successful stint at Nancy where he won the Ligue 2 title in 2016, but he could now be set for a significant step up if Barcelona are indeed set to press ahead with his signing.

With Barca looking to compete on multiple fronts again next season, quality depth is needed at the Nou Camp, and Lenglet can undoubtedly provide stiff competition for places and allow Valverde to rotate with confidence too.

Whether or not going from being a regular starter at Sevilla to a potential bench role at Barcelona is something that puts him off agreeing to a deal remains to be seen, but as per Mundo Deportivo, it’s suggested that a transfer could be wrapped up in the coming days.

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