Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde could be in line for a crucial addition in January as the Catalan giants reportedly want to wrap up the signing of Matthijs de Ligt.
Although they sit just one point off of top spot in La Liga, Barca have conceded nine goals in just eight games so far this season, giving them the worst defensive record of the top eight sides.
Coupled with the fact that Samuel Umtiti could be looking at a four-month spell on the sidelines if surgery is required on his injured knee, as reported by Mundo Deportivo, it could lead to a serious concern for Valverde in that area of his squad.
Gerard Pique hasn’t looked at his best so far this season, while summer signing Clement Lenglet seemingly needs more time to fully convince after an uneasy start. Beyond that, for a club of Barcelona’s size and stature as well as their desire to win multiple trophies each season, that simply isn’t enough quality and depth to compete on various fronts.
With that in mind, Sport claim that the Catalan giants will now push forward with their plans to sign De Ligt, albeit the Ajax youngster could cost up to €40m in the January transfer window.
Time will tell if that materialises, but it shows that the reigning La Liga champions are aware that there is an issue in defence that must be addressed sooner rather than later.
De Ligt has continued to impress for Ajax, making 74 appearances for the senior side despite still being only 19 years of age, while he has seven caps for the Netherlands too.
Coupled with his defensive qualities and ability to play out from the back, a key component of Barcelona’s style of play, he certainly seems like a sensible addition but time will tell if it will be straight-forward to prise him away from the Dutch giants in the middle of the season.