Barcelona have reportedly identified Lisandro Martinez as a potential alternative to priority defensive target Eric Garcia.
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona are drawing up a list of alternatives for Eric Garcia ahead of the January transfer window. One such player on the Blaugrana’s radar is Lisandro Martinez, who could be the subject of a winter bid from the Catalans.
Lisandro Martinez joined Ajax from Argentine outfit Defensa y Justicia in the summer of 2019 and has since been utilised quite regularly by the Dutch giants. Last term, the 22-year-old missed just one game, finishing the campaign with 41 appearances across all competitions.
The Argentine has hardly missed a game so far this term too, but has lost his starting spot at the heart of the defence to Perr Schuurs, another highly-rated centre-back. As a result, Martinez has started just 6 games so far, with most of his appearances coming off the bench. However, Barcelona seem to have seen enough progress in him to keep their eyes firmly on the young defender.
Barcelona have been hot on the trails of Eric Garcia for much of 2020 now and have been linked with a possible January swoop of the Manchester City man as well. However, the Blaugrana have been unable to reach an agreement with the Premier League heavyweights over a transfer fee.
The latest suggestions have not been clear as to whether Barcelona are willing to meet City’s asking price for Garcia. As a result, it is understandable why they would be identifying alternatives for the Spanish international, especially with defensive reinforcements being a need of the hour following the long-term injury suffered by Gerard Pique.
That Arsenal have now emerged in pursuit of Garcia might have also forced Barcelona’s hand. To that end, Martinez, with his ability to play as a left-back and in midfield equally adeptly, is a viable target for Barcelona, who have also seen Junior Firpo struggling to make a sustained impact on the left side of the defence.
The report suggests that Martinez has been personally recommended by Ronald Koeman, with the Catalan giants already sounding out Ajax over a possible deal. It is also added that a deal could well be on the cards. The final move depends entirely on the fate of the Eric Garcia pursuit, though, and it remains to be seen if Martinez ends up moving to Barcelona instead.