According to a report from AS, Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, has begun to construct a plan which may see the club facilitate a purchase for Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte.
The 27-year-old defender is widely considered world-class. For three seasons running, Laporte was a starting centre-back in Pep Guardiola’s plans at City. However, with a late resurgence from John Stones and the signing of Ruben Dias, Laporte has seen his favour with Guardiola fall, as he is now third in City’s pecking order.
A defender of his class and experience will probably not settle for a bench role, even at a club like City. Therefore, reports have been emerging recently, linking the new Spanish National to clubs across Europe. Notably, one club on this list is Barcelona.
The Catalans, who lack good left-footed central defenders, are keen to sign Laporte. Having spoken to Gerard Pique about Barça’s situation, the coach, and how to improve, Laporta has been drafting up plans to improve the team, including buys, sales, reduction of wage bills, and personnel changes in the sporting structure.
Now, Laporta is keen to sign the former French National defender. According to the same report, Barça will hold onto Pique, who understands the club’s difficult financial condition. He will stay with a reduced fixed wage, potentially payable in variables in the future.
With Pique staying on, signing Laporte means that the club will have to offload some of their current central defenders to make room. The rise of Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo, paired with the signing of Eric Garcia and Pique staying on, means that other defenders will have to leave the club.
The two defenders who the club are looking to move on are Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. The latter will likely be moved on regardless of whether Barça land Laporte.
Lenglet, on the other hand, will most probably be kept on by the club in the case that the City defender is not signed. He is looked at as a reliable squad player and someone who adds value to the team, while understanding the Barça way pretty adeptly.
What occurs finally remains to be seen. Laporte will surely be a very valuable addition to the squad. Not only is he a great defender, but he is also a proactive centre-back, who possesses the ability to carry the ball upfield, make line-breaking passes, and keep up with the pace of ball circulation under pressure.