Barcelona are in desperate need of defensive resources ahead of the new season and if reports coming out of Spanish media, Mundo Deportivo are to be believed, new Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has his eyes of securing the services of Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen.
The Belgium international was reportedly approached by both Barcelona and Roma earlier in the year with the fee thought to be around £15 million, however after the 27-year olds string of impressive performances for his country in Brazil, it appears that the defender is back in the frame for a Spanish move.
Retirements and departures
All the media attention for the Catalan club has been centred around the acquisition of troubled star Luis Suarez and the departure of Alexis Sanchez, however Barcelona fans will want to see some transfer action geared at shoring up their defence, following the departure of club legends Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes.
For the last 14-years, the hard man of Barcelona and Spanish football, Carles Puyol, has shouldered the responsibility in the centre of defence, however the veteran has decided to hang up his boots following a series of injuries, while Victor Valdes is moving on for a new challenge alongside Dani Alves that appears to be surplus to requirements
The current reality is that Gerard Piqué and Marc Bartra are the only first choice central defenders left in the squad and Enrique needs to get buying.
Barcelona have had opportunities over the last few years, but their stubbornness not pay over the odds has caused them to miss the the boat on quite a few occasions, most notably, Javi Martínez who decided to join Bayern Munich from Athletico Bilbao, Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay and most recently David Luiz who has just left Chelsea for PSG.
Vertonghen is exactly what Barcelona need
Jérémy Mathieu looks a likely option from Valencia at €15 million. The 30-year old comes with plenty of experience and is top defender with plenty of physical presence.
Alongside Mathieu, Enrique has identified 20-year old Brazilian, Marquinhos, who is only about to start his second season with PSG and comes valued at a hefty €45 million.
Marquinhos is a fantastic talent, but €45 million for a player that has only been involved in 53 top flight matches and a handful of internationals for Brazil, this path does seem completely absurd.
The 27-year old Vertonghen with over 50 international caps fits the Barcelona profile perfectly when you consider he can be brought in for around £18-20 million.
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