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8 defenders Barcelona should target in the summer transfer window

8 defenders Barcelona should target in the summer transfer window
8 defenders Barcelona should target in the summer transfer window
While most players and fans are focused on all of the international tournaments occurring this summer, the Barcelona board have a pressing issue to handle....
Robert Fernández

While most players and fans are focused on all of the international tournaments occurring this summer, the Barcelona board have a pressing issue to handle. Although the attention is like to drift away from the Camp Nou during the international competitions taking place in the next month, this summer will be a especially important one for Barcelona.

Since Carles Puyol retired back in 2014, the club has lacked a true central defender of his calibre. Other players, such as Thomas Vermaelen and Javier Mascherno, have valiantly attempted to fill the void, but time has proven that the wisest course would be to hire new talent to take over the important centre-back position. The departure of Marc Bartra to Borussia Dortmund for just €8 million is not going to help either.

Financial fair play rules prevent the club, which is already filled with highly compensated superstars, from adding many more block buster signings. In addition,

Barcelona is a team that is largely on the upper end of the age spectrum, and club officials have expressed a desire to make signings that are younger. Hence, rather than simply finding a capable central defender, Barcelona must dig deeper and find an inexpensive, young but experienced central defender.

Here’s a look at eight players who are rumored to be in consideration for this role:

1. Samuel Umtiti

Age: 22

Current Club: Olympique Lyonnais

Umtiti can be signed for the low, as far as transfer fees are concerned, price of €12 million, which does fit the cheap requirement. As attestation to his ability, the young Frenchman has been chosen for the France’s Euro squad. If Barcelona want to jump on this deal, the club must hurry up because Premier League side West Ham is also reportedly interested in closing a deal for him.

2. Aymeric Laporte

Age: 22

Current Club: Athletic Bilbao

Laporte has a €50 million buyout clause, so the player is far from inexpensive. Manchester City have also been heavily linked with the youngster, so, if Barcelona makes a move, a bidding war could easily ensue.

3. Marquinhos

Age: 22

Current Club: PSG

Before PSG won four trophies in one season, Marquinhos said he didn’t want to leave. Manchester City is also said to be interested in this defender, which certainly wouldn't make his acquisition any easier.

4. Eric Bailly

Age: 22

Current Club: Villarreal

Bailly currently plays for Villarreal and formerly played for Espanyol, so he’s well acquainted with La Liga. Although it was back in 2011, he signed to Villarreal for only €5.7 million, so, depending on how highly Villarreal currently values him, he could be a frugal decision. Yet again, the papers are saying that Pep Guardiola, newly appointed Manchester City manager, also wants this talent on his squad -- anyone else noticing a common denominator here?

5. Mauricio Lemos

Age: 22

Current Club: Las Palmas

Lemos plays for Las Palmas, so he also carries the advantage of not needing to adapt to the demands of the Spanish league. As a Uruguayan, he already has some connections with Barcelona players such as star forward Luis Suarez. 

Lemos has a €30 million buyout clause. However, transfer negotiations have already gone awry. Las Palmas has expressed umbrage over Barcelona’s alleged decision to speak with Lemos directly before contacting the club. Reportedly, one of Barcelona’s offers have already been rejected. Despite all of this, Las Palmas general director Toni Cruz has stated that the club is willing to eventually sell Lemos if the price is right.

6. John Stones

Age: 22

Current Club: Everton

Everton have already rejected €50 million offers from other major clubs for this coveted defender. It’s obvious that his club isn’t ready to let him go, and he would undoubtedly an extremely expensive signing. Not the most likely signing, if you ask me, but a youngster worth keeping an eye on for the future.

7. Alessio Romagnoli

Age: 21

Current Club: AC Milan

When Romagnoli left Roma, the club legend Totti, reportedly begged him to stay. He was signed to AC Milan to fix their defensive problems, and he has certainly delivered -- to the point that his playing style has been compared to Alessandro Nesta’s. Just a year ago, AC Milan paid €30 million for him, so it’s unlikely that the club will let him go without making a profit.

8. Stefano Denswil

Age: 23

Current Club: Club Brugge

This year Denswil has made a total of 41 appearances in all competitions for club and country. This season, his club won the Belgian Pro League and the Belgian Cup. The best thing about him is that he’s very likely to be cheap.

The Verdict

In my humble opinion, it would be best for Barcelona to spend its money and efforts attempting to signSamuel Umtiti. Although he may already be considering a move to West Ham, he would obviously be open to transferring to the Camp Nou instead. 

Umtiti's current club has reportedly already established willingness to let him go for €12 million. It would be much easier for Barcelona to swoop in on a potential West Ham deal than to try to impede Manchester City’s transfer targets. Many players are eager to work with Pep Guardiola, and Manchester City is more financially capable of a competing in a bidding war than The Hammers.

Let's hope the Barcelona transfer department can make a swift, sensible decision to strengthen the team's back-line in the very near future -- otherwise, Cules could be set for yet another busy summer full of uncertainty.

7. Alessio Romagnoli

Age: 21

Current Club: AC Milan

When Romagnoli left Roma, the club legend Totti, reportedly begged him to stay. He was signed to AC Milan to fix their defensive problems, and he has certainly delivered -- to the point that his playing style has been compared to Alessandro Nesta’s. Just a year ago, AC Milan paid €30 million for him, so it’s unlikely that the club will let him go without making a profit.

8. Stefano Denswil

Age: 23

Current Club: Club Brugge

This year Denswil has made a total of 41 appearances in all competitions for club and country. This season, his club won the Belgian Pro League and the Belgian Cup. The best thing about him is that he’s very likely to be cheap.

The Verdict

In my humble opinion, it would be best for Barcelona to spend its money and efforts attempting to signSamuel Umtiti. Although he may already be considering a move to West Ham, he would obviously be open to transferring to the Camp Nou instead. 

Umtiti's current club has reportedly already established willingness to let him go for €12 million. It would be much easier for Barcelona to swoop in on a potential West Ham deal than to try to impede Manchester City’s transfer targets. Many players are eager to work with Pep Guardiola, and Manchester City is more financially capable of a competing in a bidding war than The Hammers.

Let's hope the Barcelona transfer department can make a swift, sensible decision to strengthen the team's back-line in the very near future -- otherwise, Cules could be set for yet another busy summer full of uncertainty.