With a move for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos unlikely, Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Barcelona will turn their attention to signing one of Manchester United target Mats Hummels or Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Jan Vertonghen.
Barca have been on the hunt for a long term replacement for Carles Puyol, which has covered months and various transfer rumours with Luis Enrique no closer to replacing the Spanish legend.
Barca looked at David Luiz before his move to PSG and had a bid for Liverpool’s Daniel Agger knocked back and they’re now reportedly set on either the Borussia Dortmund star or the versatile Tottenham man.
“The club are trying to detect new moves to strengthen the defence – MD has learned the club is maintaining contacts with the environments around Mats Hummels and Jan Vertonghen,” reports MD.
Barca are likely to face the same sort of problems as Manchester United if they want to put together a serious move to go after Hummels.
The BVB star is unlikely to leave because he’s important to the structure of Jurgen Klopp’s team this season, especially as Klopp has already seen Robert Lewandowski leave, with Ikay Gundogan only just returning to full fitness.
Furthermore, Klopp recently learned that captain Sebastian Kehl will be playing his last season at BVB with Hummels a potential choice to become captain for the 2015/2016 campaign should he stay.
Tottenham Hotspur star Vertonghen is a more realistic option for Barcelona.
He’s made it clear in the past that he’d consider leaving Spurs for Champions League football and could find it difficult to turn down the appeal of a higher profile move and the chance to cement himself in Barcelona’s back four.
Puyol played on the same side of defence as Vertonghen and Enrique is unlikely to ask the Belgian to play at left-back because of Jordi Alba.
Mauricio Pochettino has personally called Vertonghen over his future and the new Spurs boss is likely to make it as difficult as possible for Barca to do a deal, unless the player expresses a clear desire to head to the Nou Camp.