Barcelona are arguably light in defence in their current squad and so speculation has linked them with a move for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld.
The Catalan giants boast the second-best defensive record in La Liga so far this season, having conceded just 13 goals in 27 games.
While that would suggest that their backline really isn’t an issue, it masks the fact that Ernesto Valverde doesn’t have a great deal of quality cover for Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique.
That pairing is fundamental to their solidity at the back, with the inexperienced Yerry Mina and veteran Thomas Vermaelen raising question marks over whether or not they have sufficient depth.
Signing Alderweireld would undoubtedly address that, and as per El Gol Digital, as re-reported by The Express, the Belgian international may well be edging closer to a move to the Nou Camp this summer.
It’s claimed that while he could join Barcelona, the La Liga leaders would end their interest in Bayer Leverkusen star Jonathan Tah, which in turn would free him up to move to Spurs as a replacement for Alderweireld.
It’s a clever plan which would see both sides sort out their respective issues, provided that Tottenham are willing to splash out €40m, as that’s the fee that the report suggests will be needed for Tah.
As noted by The Telegraph, Alderweireld has a release clause in his current contract that would allow him to leave for just £25m next summer.
That would be a nightmare scenario for Spurs as not only would they be losing a defensive pillar in their side, but he’s surely worth much more than that in today’s transfer market.
In turn, it’s perhaps clever planning to cash in on him this summer and find a replacement, while adding defensive quality would suit Barcelona too in their pursuit of major honours moving forward.