Barcelona have reportedly entered the race for OGC Nice defensive prodigy Malang Sarr, who is also on the radar of Arsenal and AC Milan.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported that Barcelona are interested in Nice’s defensive prodigy Malang Sarr. The defender has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and AC Milan, who were both interested in the teenager, and it looks like the Catalans have now joined the hunt.
Malang Sarr is a local boy who joined OGC Nice at the nascent age of five and has since grown into perhaps one of the most highly-rated up-and-coming defenders in the continent in his age bracket. Lucien Favre gave Sarr his breakthrough into the first-team at the start of this season.
And Sarr has responded with aplomb, making the centre-back position his own, with Nice surprising everyone with their run in the league. Favre’s side find themselves second to AS Monaco only due to goal difference, and Sarr has been a very able contributor to the cause.
Sarr has been an ever-present part of the back-four that has kept 10 clean sheets in 20 games, while also notching 1 goal and 1 assist in the process. Nice have the meanest defence in Ligue 1, with just 13 goals conceded so far and Sarr has been at the heart of it all.
Arsene Wenger has always been a shrewd investor in talents from France and Malang Sarr’s displays have caught the attention of the Arsenal boss. Arsenal have already signed young defender Rob Holding this season, who has also made his senior debut in the Premier League.
AC Milan’s new Sporting Director Massimiliano Mirabelli has also taken a liking to the 17-year-old centre-back and with the newfound riches, the Rossoneri are unlikely to let Arsenal get a march on Sarr.
But Barcelona have also entered the race. The Catalans have been very active in recruitment from France, with Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti already snapped up from PSG and Lyon respectively. And now, Sarr has caught the eye of club’s sporting director Robert Fernandez.
The player is contracted to Nice till 2021, which means that the club are likely to have the upper hand in any negotiations. And Sarr knows very well that he would not receive nearly as much first-team action at any of the three aforementioned clubs as he has been receiving at Nice.
The most important thing for a young player is the faith of his manager and Sarr seems to have an abundance of it at Nice under the watchful eyes of Lucien Favre.