Barcelona will need to fend off competition from rivals Atletico Madrid in the race to sign 24-year-old Moroccan defender Noussair Mazraoui.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Noussair Mazraoui is the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid over a possible Bosman move in the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old Ajax defender is also a target for Los Rojiblancos’ rivals Barcelona.

Noussair Mazraoui has been with Ajax since joining their famed academy as a nine-year-old in July 2006. In the last decade and a half, the Moroccan international has come a long way, establishing himself as a mainstay in defence for club and country.

The 24-year-old has been in solid form in the 2021/22 season, chipping in with four goals and three assists in 21 appearances across all competitions. However, the ongoing campaign could be Mazraoui’s last at Ajax, as he has entered the final year of his contract with the club, with developments on the renewal front being slow. Such a situation has alerted Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Barcelona could enter the transfer market for a right-back in the summer transfer window, as Sergino Dest has failed to win over Xavi Hernandez in the last couple of months. The Catalan giants are looking to offload the USMNT international at the earliest opportunity, with recent reports even alluding towards a possible swap deal between Ajax and Barcelona for the two right-backs this month.

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Either way, if Dest were to leave Barcelona, signing a replacement would be imperative as Dani Alves cannot play multiple games in a week and is only a short-term solution for the club. On the other hand, Atletico Madrid’s need to sign Mazraoui stems from Kieran Trippier’s transfer to Newcastle United this month.

Following Trippier’s sale, Sime Vrsaljko is the only natural right-back at Diego Simeone’s disposal, with the Atletico Madrid manager preferring Marcos Llorente as a makeshift right-back over the Croat. The search for a right-back has thrown up many names for Atletico Madrid, with Cesar Azpilicueta, also a target for Barcelona, one of the players on their radar.

According to Fichajes, Atletico Madrid will be targeting a move for Mazraoui over a Bosman move in the summer transfer window. However, with the 24-year-old defender keen on joining Barcelona, the Colchoneros will have an uphill task convincing him to join them instead.

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