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Key factor which could force Barcelona to launch swoop for €75m-rated starlet

Barcelona appear to be well set in defence both in the short term and long term, but it’s claimed they could still make a move for Matthijs de Ligt this summer.

The Catalan giants signed Jeison Murillo on loan and added youngster Jean-Clair Todibo in January, adding quality and depth in an area in which they were lacking.

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That should arguably be enough for them to go on and compete on multiple fronts not only this season but also next year and beyond, but it’s suggested that things could be complicated due to one major factor.

According to Mundo Deportivo, it’s suggested that should Samuel Umtiti be forced into surgery on a troublesome knee injury, that could push Barcelona into launching a move for Ajax youngster De Ligt, who is said to be valued at €75m.

That’s in addition to the likelihood that neither Murillo nor Thomas Vermaelen will remain at the Nou Camp beyond this season, and so coach Ernesto Valverde could find himself in a similar predicament in defence ahead of next year.

Umtiti has missed the majority of the season thus far with knee problems, with his last appearance coming against Atletico Madrid in November, while he was sidelined with a similar issue prior to that as well.

Assuming that conservative treatment hasn’t worked as he prepares to make his latest comeback this weekend, it could force Barcelona into accepting that the Frenchman may well need surgery to correct the problem, which in turn could sideline him for a significant period.

It seems like short-term thinking to suggest that could then spark a move for De Ligt, but if Murillo and Vermaelen are set to leave, then adding defensive reinforcements, particularly with Umtiti’s injury woes in mind, could in fact be a sensible strategy.

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