Speculation this week suggested that Barcelona were readying a €30m+ offer for Lazio defender Luiz Felipe, but the latest reports have cast doubt over that idea.
The Catalan giants lead the way in La Liga as things stand, boasting a two-point advantage over nearest rivals Real Madrid with 11 games to go.
While scoring goals hasn’t been a problem for them with 63 in those 27 outings which is the most of any side in the Spanish top flight, conceding them has been an issue.
Barcelona have let in 31 goals in 27 league games, and that gives them the second-worst defensive record of the top six sides in the standings.
With Gerard Pique turning 34 next year, coupled with Samuel Umtiti’s injury problems dating back to last season, that leaves Clement Lenglet as their only other senior option in the heart of the backline.
In turn, with Calciomercato reporting that Barcelona were ready to offer between €30m and €40m for Felipe to prise him away from Lazio having enjoyed a stellar season so far this year, it seemed to make sense for various reasons.
However, it doesn’t appear as though an offer will be submitted, as Mundo Deportivo now report that although the reigning La Liga champions were following the 23-year-old, they don’t believe that the Brazilian is of a sufficient level to meet their needs.
With that in mind, it’s suggested that Lazio will have an easier task of agreeing a contract renewal with Felipe now, as it seems as though Barcelona will focus their attention elsewhere in their bid to bolster their defensive options moving forward.
In truth, it did seem slightly premature to single out Felipe as the solution despite him having now been with Lazio since 2017. For that kind of money though, Barcelona will surely want someone who is more proven with a track record of performing at the top level consistently.