Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona are reportedly planning to make a move for Slovakian international Milan Skriniar.
According to reports from Spanish publication Don Balon, Barcelona are eyeing a summer swoop for Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar, who is also a transfer target for Premier League giants Manchester United.
The 23-year old Slovakian centre-half has grown into one of the most reliable players in his position in the Serie A over the past couple of seasons and has attracted a lot of interest from across Europe.
Skriniar joined Inter from fellow Serie A side Sampdoria in the summer of 2017 and quickly established himself as one of their most important players. Under the guidance of manager Luciano Spaletti, the 23-year old played a huge role in the Nerazzurri’s return to the UEFA Champions League, having not missed a single league game in the 2017-18 term.
In the ongoing campaign, the Slovakian international did sit out of one of the three Serie A encounters so far, and is expected to share game time with new arrival Stefan de Vrij. This, coupled with Inter’s unwillingness to meet the player’s wage demands, have led to uncertainty in the player’s future at the club.
The Italian giants are keen on tying down the talented defender with a new contract, but are willing to offer wages around €2.5 million-a-year, whereas Skriniar is demanding a pay packet worth at least €3 million-a-year. And Barcelona are hoping to make the most of this situation, by swooping in for the former Sampdoria man.
The Catalans brought in a new central defender in the form of Clement Lenglet earlier in the summer, signing the Frenchman from fellow La Liga outfit Sevilla. However, the club are intent on reinforcing their backline further as they look to ease the workload on defensive mainstay Gerard Pique.
The 31-year old recently drew curtains on his international career with Spain, in order to extend his club career. While he still has plenty left to offer, Barcelona are hoping to manage his game time moving forward to get the best out of him. And with manager Ernesto Valverde not trusting Thomas Vermaelen to do the job, the Blaugrana are hoping to sign Skriniar instead.
However, Barcelona will have to stave off competition from Manchester United if they are to get their hands on the 23-year old. The Red Devils are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements after having failed to bring in a new centre-back all summer and have identified Skriniar as a viable target.
Manager Jose Mourinho has been left frustrated with the club’s underperforming defensive contingent, that has already shipped in 7 goals in just four Premier League outings in the 2018-19 campaign. And while there were rumours of a move for Real Madrid star Raphael Varane, it seems like the Mancunians have turned their attention towards Skriniar.
The Slovakian international’s contract with Inter runs till 2022, meaning the Italians are under no immediate pressure to cash in on him. Considering the fact that they had rejected a £57 million offer for the defender in January this year, it is going to take a huge offer from either of Barcelona or Manchester United, if they are going to sign Skriniar.