Barcelona have decided on pursuing Lyon’s Samuel Umtiti ahead of Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, and still want Mauricio Lemos.
Mundo Deportivo explain there is a feeling at Camp Nou that Umtiti better fits the style of play preferred by Barca and footballing reasons are at the forefront, though economic considerations have also been taken into account.
Umtiti, 22, is considered to be mature beyond his years, comfortable on the ball and versatile in the positions in which he can play.
Barca would also be more likely to reach an agreement with Lyon than PSG, as the former aren’t as financially secure as the latter, with a €25m fee mooted.
PSG, meanwhile, paid Roma €35m for Marquinhos and dealings between the Ligue 1 club and their La Liga counterparts have not always been easy.
The fee Marquinhos would command is said to be ‘prohibitively high’ and paying so much – anything from €50m or €60m, MD say – would cause Javier Mascherano doubts when Barca tell him he remains a key player at the club, as the presence of a big-money signing would threaten the Argentine’s place.
Sport meanwhile reports Barca are still keen on Las Palmas’ Mauricio Lemos, despite failing to tempt the island club into selling thus far.
Marc Bartra’s move to Borussia Dortmund has exacerbated the need for defensive reinforcements and Barca want two centre-backs, the Catalan publication says, adding Thomas Vermaelen could also be allowed to leave.
Barca will next offer Las Palmas €8m up front and €4m in add-ons, having opened with an approach of €4m up front and €8m in add-ons, drawing the ire of Las Palmas over their alleged conduct prior to making the bid.
Las Palmas may also be offered the loan signing of a Barca youngster, though no names have been specified.