Barcelona are still monitoring UD Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos, despite missing out on him in the summer
The 20-year-old Uruguayan was one of the many defenders being linked with a move to Barcelona over the summer. Despite managing to acquire Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti, Barcelona’s defence has still posed a bit of a problem for Luis Enrique this season so far. Aleix Vidal has been frozen out of the team and Sergi Roberto, who use to step in at rightback is now injured, adding to their problems.
Lemos was loaned to UD Las Palmas in January this year from Russian side Rubin Kazan with a buyout clause. After making 10 La Liga appearances for Las Palmas where he impressed with his performances, they decided to activate his buyout clause and retain him at the club. Palmas paid a rumoured €1.9 million for the youngster on a 5-year contract.
According to Mundo Deportivo, prior to signing for Los Amarillos on a permanent deal, Barcelona had reportedly offered €4 million for his services, which was turned down the club as they deemed it to be ‘totally inadequate’ and vice president Nicolas Ortega had referred to his player’s €30 million release clause as the starting point for any negotiations regarding the player. According to SPORT, he said “I know Barcelona(are in the race)as that is already public; it is said that Real Madrid are also pushing strong and there is another further team interested. All the clubs interested are Spaniards. We will refer them to the release clause and according to the offer made(we will negotiate). But of course it must be much bigger than the one made by Barcelona.”
The Uruguayan has had a tough start to the season, making only 3 appearances so far this campaign for Quique Setien’s side. However, he is one for the future and the fact that Barcelona and Real Madrid have expressed a desire in acquiring him speaks volumes about his quality. With Jeremy Mathieu and Javier Mascherano both approaching the tail ends of the career, Barcelona are currently monitoring his situation at the Estadio Gran Canaria before they take a decision.