Barcelona are reportedly lining up a move to sign Clement Lenglet from Sevilla in the winter transfer window
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Clement Lenglet is the subject of interest from Barcelona. The Blaugrana are plotting a January move for the Frenchman, but will have to pay his €30 million release clause to Sevilla in order to secure his services.
Lenglet progressed through the ranks at Nancy before making his first-team debut in Ligue 2 at the nascent age of 18. The player subsequently enjoyed a fruitful three-year spell with the French club’s first-team setup, before being snapped up by Sevilla in January 2017.
In his short stint with the Andalusian club thus far, Lenglet has progressed by leaps and bounds, having cemented his place at the heart of defence. In ten months at Sevilla, the 22-year-old has made 35 appearances, including 16 this season, having taken no time to adapt to the challenges of Spanish top-flight football.
His rapid development has earned Lenglet several admirers, not least of which being current league leaders Barcelona. The Catalan club have had the Frenchman monitored for several months, and was considered as an alternative to Inigo Martinez this past summer.
‘Priority Lenglet’ [sport] pic.twitter.com/uNVyTMHXYS
— BarcaSpiral (@BarcaSpiral) November 7, 2017
Having not gone ahead with a summer move for Lenglet, Barcelona are now set to launch the offensive for him in the winter transfer window. The report suggests that Ernesto Valverde is eager to add two centre-backs to his squad.
Thomas Vermaelen is set to call it quits in January, and Javier Mascherano has been linked with an exit come the end of the season as well. With Gerard Pique blowing hot and cold in the early stages of the 2017-18 season, the need to sign a centre-back has indeed accentuated.
Barcelona have been linked with a host of names in recent weeks, with Yerry Mina also likely to make the switch to Camp Nou next summer. But, it is believed that Lenglet has now emerged as the number one priority.
However, it is likely that a move for the 22-year-old might be pushed till the summer transfer window, with the Frenchman harbouring hopes of making Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which would only be possible if he is able to play week-in week-out.
If and when they do make the move, though, Barcelona will have to pay his €30 million release clause to sign Lenglet, which is unlikely to stop them in their tracks. But, the out-of-favour Aleix Vidal could also be used in a deal, having been linked with a move back to Sevilla, and it remains to be seen if Barcelona end up signing Lenglet.