La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly identified Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte as a backup option to bolster their backline.
According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Aymeric Laporte is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a possible move in the January transfer window. The Manchester City defender is the Plan B signing if the Catalan giants fail to secure the services of Inigo Martinez.
Aymeric Laporte rose to prominence in La Liga with Athletic Club, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the Spanish top flight. But his stock has skyrocketed since joining Manchester City in January 2018. And while the Spanish international has not always been the undisputed first-choice centre-back, he has always risen to the occasion.
The 28-year-old has made 162 appearances for Manchester City, chipping in with ten goals and six assists. But with Laporte sharing game-time at the Etihad this season, a move back to Spain might be on the cards. And Barcelona will look to take advantage of such a situation in the January transfer window.
Barcelona will likely delve into the transfer market for a centre-back this winter following Gerard Pique’s decision to hang up his boots. With the veteran Spanish defender no longer with the Blaugrana, Xavi Hernandez will have only four central defenders at his disposal after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Catalan giants thus need to bring in a new centre-back in January, considering the fitness issues that have plagued the first-team squad this season. Inigo Martinez has emerged as the priority target for Barcelona for the winter window. Recent reports have claimed that the veteran Spanish defender will soon join the Blaugrana.
But the report claims that Barcelona will not finalise Martinez’s signing if the operation is not cost-effective. So they have devised a Plan B, with Aymeric Laporte being the backup option. And while the Manchester City defender will not be an economical acquisition, Barcelona might still look to sign him.
The Spanish international is at the peak of his powers and can compete with Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo to be the first-choice centre-back. But it will be interesting to see if the Manchester City defender becomes a top target for Barcelona in January.