Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Sevilla’s Clement Lenglent and have already begun talks with the representatives of the €45 million-rated defender.
According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Barcelona have been monitoring Lenglet’s rise to prominence in the La Liga and have already contacted his agents to stop them from agreeing to a new deal with Sevilla that would raise his €45 million release clause even further.
The 22-year-old signed for Sevilla in the January 2017 from French side AS Nancy for a nominal transfer fee of €5 million. He has since gone on to make 67 appearances for the Andalusians across all competitions, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist.
Prior to joining Sevilla, he had only ever played half a season of top flight football with AS Nancy, but he has since established himself as one of the best centerbacks in the Spanish top flight and at only 22 years of age, there is a lot of potential for improvement.
Lenglet’s initial release clause was reportedly set at a €30 million, but it has apparently since been increased to €45 million. Nevertheless, both are figures that a club Barcelona’s stature can easily match and weakening a rival in the process would be an added bonus.
The report goes onto state that their interest in the Frenchman isn’t due to their failure to tie down Samuel Umtiti to a new contract. However, even if Umtiti does leave in the summer, Lenglet would slot right into his place in the starting XI alongside Gerard Pique.
If he stays, Lenglet could eventually take over from the 31-year-old Gerard Pique and form a long-lasting partnership with his compatriot in the heart of Barcelona’s defence. Barcelona however, may face competition from arch rivals Real Madrid and clubs from England as well.
Standing at over 6 ft tall, he is fairly quick for his size, very good in the air is also good with the ball at his feet. He reads the game well and has a good eye for a pass. An intelligent player, his ability to sniff out danger and position himself accordingly helps him compensate for his lack of searing pace.
He would fit well at Barcelona, but Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella will certainly fight hard to keep him. Clement is reportedly considered ‘untouchable’ by the former AC Milan coach, for whom he he has started all but 3 games this season. Sevilla will be hesitant to lose such a key player, but they could use the money and should the Catalans activate his release clause and convince Lenglet to move, they will be rendered helpless.