Barcelona have accelerated their plans to land Sevilla’s highly-rated Clément Lenglet, after scheduling discussions with the defender this weekend over what his role at the club would entail, in a bid to convince him his future lies at Camp Nou.
The 22-year-old has yet to end speculation over his future after being subject to interest from across Europe, with Manchester United and Chelsea also said to be keeping an eye on any developments for the defender who is expected to cost in the region of €35m.
Sevilla, however, have yet to relinquish hope of keeping hold of their star man after the club organised a meeting for Lenglet with the new manager Pablo Machín and sporting director Joaquín Caparrós – both of whom tried to convince him that the club’s project was what was best for his development.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Blaugrana have countered their domestic rivals’ move by scheduling a meeting with the defender to inform him of what manager Ernesto Valverde’s expectations are and what he is to expect upon making the move.
Lenglet is understood to have asked for a few more week to weigh up his future.
Despite Barcelona recently tying down Samuel Umtiti until the summer of 2023, the Catalan giants are determined to move ahead with triggering Lenglet’s release clause as they look to strengthen the centre of their defence to allow Umtiti and Gerard Pique to rotate through the squad as necessary.
Furthermore, doubts remain over Thomas Vermaelen’s ability to stay at peak fitness following yet another season with injury woes and Valverde is understood to be wary of using Yerry Mina – despite only joining the club in January.