Barcelona are on the verge of securing the signing of Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet, after the French defender told the Andalusian club that he wants to join the reigning Spanish champions, rather than sign a new deal at the Sánchez Pizjuán.
Catalan newspaper Sport report that the 23-year-old made his decision over the weekend after weighing up a number of factors, and has now informed his current side of his decision – leaving Barça to decide how exactly to make their next move.
In the interests of maintaining a cordial relationship between the two sides and being able to spread the payment out a little, the Catalan club are likely to offer Sevilla an amount slightly over Lenglet’s €30m buyout clause, possibly around €35m, and then wait to see if the Europa League side accept.
The move is something of a risky one for Lenglet himself, who is far from guaranteed game time in a system where Gerard Pique and his own countryman Samuel Umtiti are firmly enshrined as the first-choice centre back partnership.
While Yerry Mina looks likely to head out on loan after failing to impress in his handful of appearances at the back end of last season, Lenglet will still have to compete for the first backup spot with Thomas Vermaelen, who Ernesto Valverde is still a fan of despite his long-standing injury issues.
One way or another, Lenglet is expected to be announced as a Barcelona player within the week – his absence from France’s deep World Cup squad helping to speed the process along.