Barcelona ‘press on with €30m move for Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet’

Barcelona are pressing on with a £26.5million summer move for Sevilla centre back Clement Lenglet as they deal with their defensive issues ahead of next season.

Reports in Tuesday morning’s Spanish papers claim the Frenchman is the No 1 target for Barca, with doubts growing over Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen.

The pair, at differing stages of their careers, both put on a disastrous display in last weekend’s 5-4 defeat at Levante, ending the club’s hopes of finishing the season unbeaten.

Vermaelen is 32 and approaching the twilight of his career, while Mina, 23, only joined from Palmeiras in January but has not yet hit the heights expected of him.

SPORT claim that all this means Barca will go in for Lenglet in the summer, who has a €30m (£26.5m) buyout clause in his Sevilla contract.

The French centre back himself only moved to La Liga in 2017, arriving from Nancy in a deal worth just €5m.

He has proved himself a talented player, though, and at just 22 has a long career ahead of him at the top level.

Barcelona’s desire for another central defender is made more urgent by the contract situation with star man Samuel Umtiti, too.

Manchester United are said to be interested in him, and it would take just £52m to prise him away from the Nou Camp.

Recent reports in the Spanish media claim Barcelona are desperately trying to tie him down to a new deal, in which they would be able to up the buyout clause significantly.

Speaking recently, Umtiti’s international colleague Lenglet spoke to Mundo Deportivo about a potential move across Spain to Barcelona.

‘I am proud to play for Sevilla and I understand the people who say to me in the street, “Do not go to Barça”,’ he said. ‘But the truth is that I do not know if I’m going to go or not.

‘I’ll wait until the end of the season to make a decision, because I am very well here. I am proud of my work in Seville. The truth is the work on the field and the field is what gives you opportunities to grow or not.

‘The truth is that I do not know how everything will end. I’m happy with my season and the work I do here. Again, my dream is to qualify for the Europa League and then think about everything that can happen this summer.

‘The renewal? I told my agent that I want to finish the season without thinking about contracts, equipment and things like that, because it can distract me.

‘I want to talk about that when the season is over, calm, and knowing where the Sevilla and the other clubs are. Also out of respect for Sevilla.’

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