Barcelona have reportedly joined the race to sign 23-year-old Hungarian defender Attila Szalai from Fenerbahce.
According to Portuguese journalist Pedro Almeida, Barcelona are among the clubs keen on signing Attila Szalai. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are also courting the 23-year-old Hungarian defender, but Fenerbahce’s high asking price could be prohibitive for Barcelona, in particular.
Attila Szalai has made significant progress since joining Fenerbahce from Apollon Limassol earlier this year in the January transfer window. Now a key figure for club and country, the Hungarian international is starting to garner interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
To date, Szalai has made 40 appearances for the Turkish giants, chipping in with three goals along the way. However, Fenerbahce could be put in a spot of bother just a year after signing the 23-year-old, as he has captured the attention of clubs like Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, among others.
The interest from Barcelona is hardly surprising, even though they bolstered their defence in the summer transfer window by signing Eric Garcia. However, Garcia has been experiencing teething problems at Camp Nou, while Gerard Pique is in the twilight of his career, with his advancing age starting to show its effects.
In addition, Clement Lenglet has become a rotation option while Samuel Umtiti is deemed surplus to requirements by the Blaugrana. As a result, it has become imperative for Barcelona to sign a centre-back, with Alessio Romagnoli, James Hill and Jules Kounde among their reported targets.
Now, Szalai has emerged as a viable target for the Catalan giants. The 23-year-old stylistically is a like-for-like replacement for Umtiti, who has recently been linked with a possible loan move to Benfica. However, Barcelona are not alone in pursuit of the Hungarian defender, who Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are also tailing.
Chelsea have also been linked with a possible January move for Szalai, who is becoming a sought-after player in the transfer market. However, Barcelona could have an uphill task pursuing the player due to his high asking price.
While Pedro Almeida has not mentioned a figure, he has iterated that Szalai’s valuation could be prohibitive for Barcelona. So, it remains to be seen if the Blaugrana can do anything to claw their way back in the race to sign the 23-year-old or if he ends up joining some other club instead.