FC Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has confirmed that the club has submitted a bid for Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu.
Jeremy Mathieu’s future at Valencia has come under immense speculations this season as he has been linked with Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona. The Catalan club has however confirmed their bid for the French defender as they look to add depth to their backline.
Mathieu joined Valencia in 2009 after producing some wonderful performances for Toulouse in Ligue 1. The 30-year-old became a regular in their starting line-up from next season and hasn’t looked back since. The former Sochaux defender is primarily a left back, but was converted to a center back last season. He formed a good partnership with Ricardo Costa at the center of the defence. Mathieu produced some consistent performances at the back as Valencia reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The Frenchman has drawn a lot of interest last season and in this summer with both Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur being linked with him. But Barcelona were always considered as the favourites to land him and now sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has confirmed the club’s offer for the Valencia defender.
“Valencia already know our offer and we want to maintain privacy in the negotiations. Of course we have other alternatives if this falls through.
“Hopefully by La Liga’s start we have that centre-back position covered. If we wanted a centre-back before now, we would have signed one.
“We want someone who can put in top performances for many years and that’s what we’re working on.
“Signing is a centre-back is an objective for 80-90 per cent of the major European clubs so it not only depends on what we want to do – the exception is David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain, that’s the only real major movement in this regard.” – Zubizarreta said.
Barcelona are currently short in numbers as the back with Carles Puyol’s retirement, while both Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano have looked shaky at the center of the defence. Marc Bartra is still relatively inexperienced and the Catalan club needs at least two cornerbacks to shore up the defence.
Mathieu will bring in a lot of experience with him, but at his age, he won’t be a long-term solution – although he also brings in the versatility of being able to play as a left back when required. The defender reportedly has a 20 million euro release clause in his contract and Barcelona have matched that with their offer.