Barcelona are set to sell right-back Nelson Semedo and hope to bring in two more defenders to bolster their backline before the close of the transfer window.
The Catalan giants are ready to allow the Portugal international to move to Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers in a deal worth €40 million ($47m), according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
Wolves are in the market for a new full-back after selling Matt Doherty to Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the transfer window. Barca are happy to sell Semedo as new coach Ronald Koeman has made it clear he prefers Sergi Roberto at right-back.
Barcelona will then use the cash from Semedo’s sale to funds moves for another full-back and a center-back. ESPN add that the Catalan giants are keen on Ajax full-back Sergino Dest and Norwich City’s Max Aarons, while they could also move for center-back Eric Garcia.
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Barca and Bayern to Battle for Dest?
Barcelona will face competition from European champions Bayern Munich for Dest. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports the Bundesliga side “are confident” they can land the USMNT star.
Sky Germany have reported Bayern have already agreed personal terms with the 19-year-old, and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag is not surprised to hear the teenager is attracting interest from Europe’s top clubs.
“I can’t say anything about it, there is a lot of interest in all of our players. Dest has developed well so it’s not surprising there is interest.”
Yet Barcelona and Ajax have a good working relationship. Current stars such as Frenkie de Jong and Luis Suarez have played for both clubs, while manager Koeman has played and managed both sides.
Barcelona could also be helped out by the fact that Dest appears to be a fan. The teenager fuelled rumors of a move to the Camp Nou earlier this year by posting a photo on Instagram where he was wearing Barca training gear.
Garcia to Head Home?
Meanwhile, a move for Garcia looks far more straightforward. The defender came through the club’s academy before moving to Manchester City and has already told the Citizens he won’t be signing a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.
Garcia’s current deal at the Citizens expires next summer, putting Barcelona in a strong position when it comes to negotiating a deal. According to Fernando Polo and Gabriel Sans at Mundo Deportivo, Barca will not pay more than €15m ($17m) for the teenager as he will be a free agent next summer.
Sporting director Ramon Planes spoke about the teenager during a press conference last week to unveil new signing Miralem Pjanic.
“It’s true that we are looking for someone to help us in defense. Eric Garcia is a great player, made in Barcelona, who loves the club, but whether or not he can join depends on the market. The club’s idea is to build a young side alongside players who have given a lot to the club. Eric has that profile.”
Barcelona’s defensive frailties have been evident for some time and were highlighted in their disastrous 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The club now seem determined to bring in reinforcements before their season starts on Sunday against Villarreal.