Barcelona have bid rejected for defender Mauricio Lemos

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Barcelona have had a £3 million bid for Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos rejected, according to The Mirror.

The 20-year-old Uruguayan centre-back has impressed during his loan spell at Las Palmas, starting in each of their final eight league matches after joining from Rubin Kazan in January.

In fact, he has done so well that Las Palmas took up the option to buy Lemos permanently for £1.6 million very recently, but that has not deterred Barcelona from attempting to snatch the youngster away from his new home.


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Las Palmas hold out 

Las Palmas have turned down the opportunity to make an immediate profit on their new defender, with Barcelona’s offer believed to contain clauses that could see the deal eventually rise to £9 million. It is unclear at this point, though, whether Barcelona will return with a second bid.

If a deal can be agreed, it would mark a phenomenal rise to the top of the game for Lemos.

Just ten months ago, he had made only nine senior appearances for lowly Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting and now, just 13 senior matches later, he could be on his way to the Camp Nou.

Barca boss Luis Enrique is in the market for at least two central defenders this summer after familiar problems emerged towards the end of the campaign. Barca almost threw away the league title with three successive defeats in April that exposed the limitations of an ageing Javier Mascherano.

Enrique needs options 

Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen have also slowed with age, leaving Enrique with limited options in a defence that, holding such a high line, needs speed and agility to function successfully.

The Mirror are also reporting that Enrique will spend the majority of his summer budget on a high profile centre-back, most likely want-away Brazilian star Marquinhos. The 22-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at Paris Saint-Germain, although the Parisians are reluctant to let him leave all the same. 

Lemos is not seen as an alternative to Marquinhos, but instead a young back-up option who could replace Marc Bartra. Bartra is expected to leave in the summer, with Valencia leading in the race for his signature.

Do you think Barcelona need a new centre-back? Have your say in the comment box below.

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