Barcelona have reportedly made contact with the agent of Portuguese sensation and Real Madrid target Nuno Mendes over a potential summer transfer.
According to a report from Portuguese publication Record, Barcelona are the latest entrants in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon prodigy Nuno Mendes and have already made contact with his agent to explore the possibility of a summer transfer.
Mendes, 18, rose through the ranks at Sporting and made his first-team breakthrough during the final stages of the 2019/20 campaign, from which point he hasn’t looked back. The teenage left-back has firmly established himself as the first-choice for his club and even managed to break into the Portuguese national team during the recent international break.
Mendes, till date, has made 36 senior appearances for Sporting Lisbon, with 27 of those coming in the ongoing campaign. In the process, he has also managed a solitary goal and a couple of assists. His rise to prominence in Portugal has not gone unnoticed with a host of top clubs across Europe casting admiring glances towards the teenager, including the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Now, it seems like Barcelona, too, have entered the fray for the signing of Mendes. The Catalans are in the market for a new left-back, with securing a long-term replacement for Jordi Alba soon being a priority for the club. Current second-choice left-back Junior Firpo has not been able to convince the management of his abilities and is expected to be on his way out.
To that end, Barcelona have been linked with a host of names such as Jose Gaya, Juan Bernat among others. However, with the former a key member of the Valencia side and the latter signing a new contract at PSG, the Blaugrana seem to be keeping their options open. Mendes has, thus, emerged as a target now, with the club already holding talks with his agent, Miguel Pinho.
But, Barcelona may have to battle it out with arch-rivals Real Madrid for the signing of Mendes, given as the Merengues are lining him up as a potential long-term replacement for veteran left-back Marcelo, whose form has declined sharply over the past year, relegating him to the bench more often than not this term.
Mendes signed a new contract with Sporting Lisbon in December last year, extending his stay with the Portuguese capital outfit till the summer of 2025. But, with interest mounting in him with each passing day, it remains to be seen if he remains at his boyhood club beyond this term. For now, though, Barcelona have lodged an enquiry with his agent over a possible summer move.