Another defender has emerged as a potential replacement for Samuel Umtiti, with Barcelona taking a keen look at Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez.
According to Spanish publication Don Balon, Barcelona are taking a keen interest in another Atletico Madrid superstar, this time to potentially replace Samuel Umtiti, who has been linked heavily with a move away from the club. The player in question is Lucas Hernandez, brother of Real Madrid star Theo Hernandez.
The rumours signalling a summer exit from Barcelona for Umtiti have gathered pace recently, with Real Madrid and Manchester United both involved in the tussle to prise him away from the current La Liga leaders. The Catalans do not want to lose their star defender, but are laying down contingency plans in case the player does end up leaving.
The chances of Umtiti leaving have been heightened by the fact that Barcelona are unwilling to match the pay on offer from Manchester United, something Real Madrid could match or even increase. Thus, the Catalans have already started the search to replace Umtiti in the summer.
Issa Diop was recently linked by the media as the youngster emerged as one of the defenders Barcelona would be looking to target. But, Lucas Hernandez seems to be a rather considerable option, giving more wind to the rumour. The Atletico Madrid star has already seen his brother jump ship to join Real Madrid.
The 22-year-old has managed to carve out a regular place for himself at the back for Los Rojiblancos, especially with Diego Simeone already having the likes of Diego Godin, Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez in central defence.
One must consider the fact that a chunk of his appearances have come on the left flank, with Filipe Luis out injured. But, the player has also impressed when deployed as a central defender, which still remains his natural and preferred position.
Lucas has already made the senior bow at the international level as well, representing France and with considerable La Liga experience under his belt, he could be a much better option than the likes of Issa Diop, who will take time to adapt to a new league.
The 22-year-old represents a player profile that Barcelona would very much like to bring in should Umtiti leave and we could see Barcelona and Atletico Madrid negotiate for more than one player in the summer, should the Manchester United target leave the Nou Camp.