Barcelona are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, valued at €30 million by Ajax.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Lisandro Martinez has inched closer to joining Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The Argentine international is valued at around €30 million by Ajax.

Lisandro Martinez has made massive strides in his career since joining Ajax from Defensa y Justicia in July 2019. In the last two and a half years, the 23-year-old has come leaps and bounds, establishing himself as a mainstay at the back for the Dutch giants while also breaking into the Argentine national side.

To date, Martinez has made 107 appearances for Ajax, featuring in all but one game when fit and available this season. The young defender’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with several European bigwigs, including Barcelona, setting their sights on him.

The interest from Barcelona is understandable, considering Gerard Pique is in the twilight of his career while Samuel Umtiti’s long-term future remains shrouded in uncertainty despite signing a new contract. In addition, Eric Garcia has struggled to hit the ground running since arriving from Manchester City on a free transfer last summer.

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To make matters more concerning for Xavi Hernandez, Clement Lenglet has struggled to perform consistently in the past year. And his waning form could force Barcelona to sell him in the summer transfer window, with several teams across Europe, including his former club Sevilla, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur linked with him.

Lenglet essentially has the second half of the campaign to win Xavi over. Failure to perform consistently will likely result in a summer departure, with Martinez emerging as the preferred option to replace the Frenchman. Signing the Argentine international will not set Barcelona back by much, with Ajax likely to demand €30 million if forced to sell him.

The outlay to sign Martinez could be offset greatly by the transfer fee Barcelona might recoup from Lenglet’s sale. According to El Nacional, talks between Barcelona and Martinez are already underway, and it will not be surprising to see the 23-year-old join the Catalan club in a €30 million deal in the summer.

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