Barcelona in the market for a left-footed centre-back

Lisandro Martinez of Ajax. (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Lisandro Martinez of Ajax. (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

One of the priorities for Barcelona, aside from signing a striker, is to resolve the future of French centre-back Samuel Umtiti.

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After spending the last couple of seasons injured and failing to convince manager Ronald Koeman this season, all signs point to a summer exit.

Barcelona want to find a replacement for Samuel Umtiti.

With that in mind, Barcelona is in the market for a left-footed centre-back that could replace Umtiti and has narrowed down their options to three players.

According to Mundo Deportivo, those three players are Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez, Feyenoord’s Marcos Senesi, and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli.

The idea for Barcelona is to sign a low-cost replacement. Though judging by the names on their list, the only player that would meet that criteria would be Senesi.

Ajax are likely to want a significant fee for Martinez. The same could be said for Milan as Romagnoli is an important player on their squad.

While those three players are at the top of their list, the Catalans are also studying other options. One such option includes Real Betis’ Aïssa Mandi who would be available on a free transfer.

Another name is former La Masia player Jorge Cuenca who moved to Villareal at the start of the season but is on loan at Almeria. He’s impressed at Almeria as well as with Spain’s U-21 team. What makes his signing unlikely, however, is he was sold because he did not convince Koeman. A season away might not have done enough, if anything, to convince him otherwise.

If Umtiti is sold, Barcelona would be left with five centre-back options if Eric Garcia is signed. Clement Lenglet would be the only player of those five to be left-footed. In theory, they don’t see it as a problem but would like to have some cover just in case.

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At the very least, it would afford Koeman the possibility of tinkering with different formations. As we’ve seen since the start of the new year, Barcelona has looked better playing with three at the back.