Barcelona haven't really recruited a top-quality centre-back for a number of years now.
Javier Mascherano has done the job expertly well but he's no central defender and in any event.
Marc Bartra has been nothing more than a liability whenever he has played and although Thomas Vermaelen has experience, he's not a long term solution to Barca's problems there.
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Gerard Pique has become the elder statesman, slipping into the role that Carles Puyol once held dear.
Now it's the elegant Catalan setting the example and needing to have a protege alongside him to be able to mould as Barca would like.
Step forward Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte. A player that Barcelona have coveted from a number of seasons now.
A tall, physical and quick centre-back, he is everything that the Blaugrana have been looking for.
Manchester United could well be left disappointed as they too have been in the market for the player and had suggested that a summer capture wasn't out of the question.
That was before the player himself left the door open for the Catalans.
Lluis Miguelsanz of Barcelona daily Sport noted Laporte's words when recently interviewed: "For now I am with Athletic and I am focused on the season. Barca are the best team in the world, but for now there is nothing concrete and no-one has directly called me. I asked and I’m patiently waiting."
This Barca rumour appears in each market.
Laporte went on to say: "As for possible contact with Barca, you have to see what happens with my club because I am under contract. Athletic have never mentioned Barca’s interest to me."
At just 21 years of age, Laporte is an old head on very young shoulders but he won't come cheap either. Conservative estimates put his value at around the €50m mark.
Not that Barca will worry too much about the transfer spend.
As long as they can lock down a new sponsorship deal for the shirts before the start of the 2016/17 campaign, then the money should be available for new purchases and to keep hold of the biggest names in the squad.
As a young, budding international, how can you fail to not be moved at the thought of playing alongside Pique, a player that has literally won it all.
And with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez as your team mates. It's the equivalent of footballing utopia for many.
Compare that to a side that will, most likely, play in the Europa League and who are a club in transition for the third time in as many years.
It's not really a comparison at all.
Should Laporte move to Barcelona? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!
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