Barcelona look to raid title rivals Atletico Madrid in January to bolster key area

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According to Spanish publication AS, Barcelona have identified Atletico Madrid defender Felipe as an option to bolster their centre-back ranks in January.

AS report that the Catalan outfit have targeted the signing of two central defenders when the transfer window reopens, with Manchester City talent and their former academy ace Eric Garcia also an option.

It’s added that Barcelona are also eyeing Felipe due to the Brazilian’s limited action so far this season, with a six-month loan deal or even a permanent transfer seen as possibilities by the Blaugrana.

AS actually claim that Felipe is the defensive target that Barcelona currently like the most.

Ronald Koeman is in desperate need of strengthening in this area, the side already had just a few options, with their situation becoming worse due to injury troubles.

Three of their four first-team centre-backs are currently sidelined in Samuel Umtiti, Ronald Araujo and of course the long-term blow to the long-serving Gerard Pique after a knee injury caused by this.

Barcelona’s defensive predicament has forced Koeman into deploying Frenkie de Jong at the heart of the defence recently, with the star partnered by Barcelona B talent Oscar Mingueza.

Felipe was a starter in the opening stages of the season but has now found himself behind Jose Maria Gimenez, Stefan Savic and Mario Hermoso – with Diego Simeone starting to utilise a centre-back three.

So Felipe is currently the fourth-choice, but also importantly the only senior alternative if Simeone persists with three at the back, so it wouldn’t be wise for Atletico to part with the ace at all.

Especially considering that they are primed to take the top spot in La Liga once they’ve completed their games in hand, working on qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League and also awaiting the start of the Copa del Rey.

Felipe only arrived from Porto last summer and it would be very surprising to see Los Rojiblancos sanction his exit to a title rival at the mid-season point.

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