Barcelona are reportedly planning a raid on Ligue 1 side Montpellier for the signing of goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish outlet Sport, La Liga champions Barcelona are considering making a swoop for Montpellier shot-stopper Benjamin Lecomte in the summer transfer window as a possible replacement for current second-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
The 30-year-old Cillessen has been with Barcelona since 2016, when he joined from Dutch giants Ajax, but has had to play second-fiddle to Marc-Andre ter Stegen throughout his stint at Camp Nou. In three years with the Catalans, the Netherlands international has managed just 31 appearances, ten of which came in the 2018-19 season.
While he still has two years left on his contract with Barcelona, Cillessen recently hinted at the possibility of a summer exit as he seeks more regular playing time. This development has left the reigning La Liga champions in search of a backup option for ter Stegen ahead of the next season.
Barcelona had been linked with a move for former academy man Andre Onana, who has impressed with Ajax, but seem to have now switched their attention towards Montpellier custodian Benjamin Lecomte. The 28-year-old came through the youth ranks at Lorient and spent a season away on loan at Dijon (2013-14), before establishing himself as the first-choice at his boyhood club.
Lecomte earned a €2.5 million move in the summer of 2017 to Montpellier, where he has had back-to-back solid campaigns. In his two seasons with La Paillade, the Frenchman has featured 77 times across all competitions, managing to keep 25 clean sheets in the process.
The 28-year-old was called up to the French national team for the first round of UEFA Nations League fixtures back in September last year, but is yet to make his international debut.
Lecomte has hinted at the possibility of a move away from Montpellier, despite having signed a new deal in September 2018. “What I want in my career is a moment I can remember. Whether that’s here, elsewhere in France, or abroad, I don’t know. I have goals I want to achieve and this is a crucial moment in my career,” he said, as quoted by Sport.
The 28-year-old, who is valued at €12.5 million, has also been linked with French champions PSG, while Barcelona’s La Liga rivals Sevilla are also believed to interested.
With close to 200 appearances in the Ligue 1, Lecomte has plenty of experience and could prove to be an economical and reliable second-choice option for Barcelona. But, it remains to be seen if they decide to step up their interest in the Frenchman or pursue alternate targets.