Barcelona are reportedly considering Liverpool defender Joel Matip as an alternative January target for Manchester City star Eric Garcia.
The Daily Mail have reported that Barcelona are keeping contingencies in place, should they fail in their bid to sign Eric Garcia from Manchester City in January. Interestingly, among the alternatives lined up by the La Liga giants is Liverpool defender Joel Matip.
The other player mentioned as a ‘low cost centre-back’ option in January is Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger. The Joel Matip is option is rather intriguing, since Liverpool seem to be struggling with injury and depth issues of their own in central defence, leaving a tiny probability that the defending Premier League champions will consider any bids for the Cameroonian.
Eric Garcia though, as per the report, remains the primary target for Barcelona. The La Liga giants want to bring another prodigal son home and this is one more case where the player might oblige, with the Spaniard holding off on signing a new deal with Manchester City, despite the Pep Guardiola factor.
One reason behind Garcia’s uncertainty could be Guardiola’s future as well, with the former Barcelona manager tipped to vacate the managerial seat at Manchester City by the end of the season.
Joel Matip might have only played three games so far in the 2020/21 Premier League for Liverpool. However, the piling injuries at the back means the Cameroonian will get minutes and chances to prove himself on the pitch, provided he manages to remain fit himself as well.
Barcelona’s choice of pursuing Matip is also peculiar since the Cameroonian has struggled with fitness issues of his own so far this season, unable to string together a run of matches or Matchdays being fit and available.
As far as Liverpool are concerned, Matip would be considered an asset right now, despite his fitness issues. The 29-year-old can also mentor the likes of Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips and Sepp van den Berg in training and can add some experience at the back if picked.
This means Jurgen Klopp will likely not entertain offers in January for Matip, let one him being a cost-effective winter transfer option for Barcelona. Ronald Koeman should pin his hopes on getting Garcia in January.