Barcelona are reportedly facing stiff competition from Liverpool in the race to sign Aissa Mandi on a Bosman deal this summer.
According to a report by Spanish outlet El Gol Digital, Aissa Mandi is becoming a hot property as the summer transfer window approaches. The 29-year-old Algerian defender is set to leave Real Betis as a free agent, with Barcelona and Liverpool among those eyeing a Bosman move.
Mandi has established himself as one of the most dependable defenders in La Liga since joining Real Betis from Reims in the summer of 2016. Over the past half-a-decade, the player has been a mainstay at the back for Los Verdiblancos, and has gone on to amass 172 appearances for the Andalusian club.
However, Mandi’s time at Real Betis is coming to an end this summer, with the player choosing not to pen fresh terms with the Spanish outfit as his current deal approaches its end. And, the fact that he would be available for a Bosman move has alerted a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Liverpool.
Barcelona continue to be in a state of transition, as Ronald Koeman modifies the squad at his disposal to his liking. While the Blaugrana have been playing some fabulous football under the tutelage of the Dutchman, a number of positions need to be bolstered, owing to the fact that the squad is ageing to some extent while some others have become surplus to requirements.
As far as defence is concerned, Gerard Pique is in the twilight of his career while Samuel Umtiti is set to be offloaded this summer, making Mandi a viable target despite the fact that Eric Garcia is tipped to join Barcelona as well. However, the Catalan giants have Liverpool for company in the race to sign the 29-year-old.
Liverpool have been ravaged by an injury crisis in defence, which once left Jurgen Klopp with no recognised centre-back at his disposal. As things stand, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip remain out while there are no guarantees that Ozan Kabak will be signed permanently. With Ben Davies yet to rake in a single minute for the Reds, the need to sign a centre-back is understandable.
While Liverpool are set to sign Ibrahima Konate after agreeing personal terms with him, it looks like they could make a tilt for another centre-back, which is not surprising considering Matip’s fitness woes in the last couple of years. And like Barcelona, the Merseyside outfit would be allured by the fact that Mandi will not cost anything in way of transfer fee.
Having said that, Barcelona and Liverpool are not the only clubs interested in Mandi, with AC Milan also keen on signing him. What now remains to be seen, though, is where the Algerian centre-back chooses to play his football next season, with the race to sign him on a Bosman deal intensifying.