The Premier League trophy seen in 2016, (c) Soccrates Images.

Barcelona shortlist three Premier League defenders as low-cost options

Barcelona will turn to the Premier League in their bid to sign a central defender during January amid a lack of squad depth this season.

Barcelona concluded the summer transfer window on a low as they were unable to sign any of their desired targets apart from Sergino Dest. The most important signing, that of a central defender, was left hanging and the club is likely to push for one in January. Eric Garcia remains their primary target, but there are several complications regarding his move.

Manchester City are hoping to seduce the 19-year-old into extending his contract at the Etihad Stadium, which expires in 2021. However, the Blaugrana have monitored him with an incredible desire to land him. A transfer in the winter shall not be ruled out, neither should the Spain international’s extension in the Premier League which is very much on the cards.

Sport has reported that Barcelona have shortlisted three low-cost options from the Premier League as probable targets for the upcoming window. Unfortunately, they are staring at potential bankruptcy and hence, will not be able to make a blockbuster signing. Nonetheless, they desperately need a central defender.

Ronald Koeman only has Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo at his disposal for the time being. While Pique is aged, Araujo is very inexperienced to play on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the manager has no faith in Samuel Umtiti, who is anyway lacking match fitness more often than not during the regular course of the season.

Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger is the first option being discussed. The German centre-back has been linked with an exit from west London since the summer. Frank Lampard has preferred to use Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, which has hindered Rudiger’s participation. He will not cost Barca a lot whereas his wage demands would not be as high as some others either.

Besides Rudiger, Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi and Liverpool centre-half Joel Matip are options but seem unrealistic for the moment. Mustafi, albeit having flopped at the Emirates Stadium will be kept hold of in order to maintain squad depth. Matip meanwhile would not be allowed to leave as the Reds are having a defensive crisis of their own.

Which defender do you think Barca must sign during the upcoming transfer window?