Barcelona are set to step up their interest in Milan Skriniar by making a move in the January transfer window for the Serie A superstar

If a report by Spanish outlet Don Balon is to be believed, Barcelona are eager to make central defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window. The Spanish champions have Milan Skriniar on their mind, who has set the Serie A alight since making his way to Italy in January 2016.

More than 30 months since first joining a Serie A club in Sampdoria, Skriniar has well and truly evolved into a player that has earned the tag of being a reliable defender. As a result, the Slovak has almost become a constant at the back for Inter Milan, having first joined the Nerazzurri in the summer of 2017.

In fact, the player has missed just two league games for the Serie A giants, and is now regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world at the present moment. Unsurprisingly, that has led to widespread interest from several prominent clubs in Europe, none more so than Barcelona.

Barcelona calling? (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Barcelona calling? (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Ernesto Valverde does have four centre-backs at his disposal following the arrival of Clement Lenglet in the summer transfer window. But, the Barcelona manager has some valid concerns over some of the options he currently has.

The most concerning of these is Thomas Vermaelen. While the Belgian’s stint at Barcelona has been injury riddled, last season turned out to be a successful one, with the experienced defender proving to be  a handy option for Valverde. However, after making a slow start to the current campaign, there is an apprehension that his best may be behind him.

Also an issue for the Barcelona boss, is Gerard Pique. The 31-year-old has been a fine servant for the Blaugrana for most of his senior career. However, with his best years evidently behind him, the time to slowly phase him out may be nearing for the Catalans.

Baecelona have thus, turned their attention towards Serie A football, where Skriniar has emerged as a viable target. The Slovak could potentially end up forming a long-term core comprising of Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti, which could serve Barcelona for years to come.

The only major stumbling block in their pursuit of the Serie A superstar could be a hefty price tag that Inter Milan might command for him, should they be persuaded to part ways with him. While Barcelona do intend to sell Vermaelen before making a move for Skriniar, the Belgian’s sale is unlikely to fund the Slovak’s transfer.

Furthermore, Barcelona also have to convince Skriniar to end his fruitful stint in Serie A football to make his way to Camp Nou, with the player previously iterating that he is happy at Inter Milan. There are several ifs and buts in the chase for the 23-year-old. A clearer picture should emerge as we approach the January transfer window.

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