Togolese defender Djene Dakonam has emerged as a surprise January transfer target for reigning La Liga champions Barcelona.

According to a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are planning to make a move for versatile Getafe defender Djene Dakonam in the winter transfer window.

Barcelona find themselves short on numbers at the heart of defence, following injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen. The former picked up a knee injury in September and is expected to be out of action for several months, while the latter injured himself on international duty with Belgium last week.

This has left the Catalans with just Gerard Pique and summer signing Clement Lenglet as the only senior centre-backs in the squad, neither of whom have been in solid form this season. And hence, manager Ernesto Valverde’s hands have been forced to look for a new defender, when the transfer window opens in a couple of months’ time.

Barcelona have been linked with a move for former Chelsea superstar Branislav Ivanovic, who currently plies his trade for Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. However, the 34-year-old veteran is not the only option the Blaugrana are looking at, with Getafe’s Djene Dakonam also emerging as a potential target.

From opponents to teammates? (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

From opponents to teammates? (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old centre-back has been with Getafe for just over a year now, having moved from Belgian outfit Sint-Truiden in the summer of 2017. Djene was a revelation in his debut campaign, as he featured in all but two La Liga games for his club, helping them to an eighth-place finish. In the 2018-19 season, the Togolese defender has featured in all of Getafe’s eight league games.

Primarily a centre-half, Djene can also slot in as a right-back with equal comfort and has also been used as a holding midfielder at various stages in his career. Standing over 6ft 1in, the 26-year-old makes for an imposing presence at the back and is known for his strong tackling abilities.

Djene, who still has five years left on his current contract with Getafe, might not be the most well-known name in football. But, the 34-time capped Togolese international has done a solid job in his short time in Spain, which must have appealed to Barcelona.

The 26-year-old has the potential to turn out to be a handy squad player for Barcelona, owing to his versatile nature. However, it remains to be seen if the Catalans make an attempt to sign him in January, or pursue other targets with Ivanovic and 21-year-old Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez among those believed to be on the club’s radar.