What’s the story?
Southampton are set to have another tough summer transfer window with FC Barcelona reportedly targeting the club’s Portuguese right-back, Cedric Soares according to the Mirror. Playing at right-back, the 25-year-old Portuguese international has been more than impressive for the Saints this season.
After signing for the Saints from Sporting CP in 2015 for a sum of £5m, the Portuguese defender is now worth £25m.
Barcelona have struggled to find a proper replacement for Dani Alves who left the club to join Juventus last year and the reigning La Liga champions believe that the Portuguese footballer can be the perfect solution to their defensive frailties.
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Soares played a crucial role in Portugal’s triumph at the European Championships last year which earned him international recognition. Since joining Southampton in 2015, the 25-year-old right-back has made 43 appearances in total for the Saints.
Meanwhile, Luis Enrique has preferred Sergi Roberto as the first choice right-back for Barcelona despite signing Aleix Vidal, who was considered to be a long-term replacement for Dani Alves. Barcelona have also been linked with a move for Arsenal’s right-back, Hector Bellerin this season.
Soares is reportedly keen on moving to the Camp Nou in the summer with Southampton willing to part ways with the Portuguese defender if Barcelona can come up with the right price.
The heart of the matter
Despite having the likes of Roberto and Vidal amongst their ranks, Barcelona’s pursuit of Soares speaks volumes of the club’s lack of faith in their two right-backs. The Catalans are aware of the Portuguese right-back’s potential and will be looking to land him in the summer.
Barcelona were also linked with Arsenal’s Bellerin recently, however, the Spaniard does not seem to be on his way out. The signing of Soares will bring competition to the right-back position at Barcelona which is currently being filled by Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal.
Barcelona’s right-back woes were on full display in their Champions League clash against PSG which they lost 4-0 at the Parc des Princes. They will be hoping for a better performance in the second leg in order to become the first team to overcome a four-goal first-leg deficit in Europe’s elite competition.
Meanwhile, they are also contesting for the La Liga crown and sit on top of the table, a point ahead of Real Madrid who have a game in hand.
Soares’ impressive performances for Southampton along with his exploits at the Euros last season have given Barcelona enough reason to make a move for him at the end of the season. His attacking style of play will make him a perfect fit at the Spanish club and they might just have found a worthy successor to Dani Alves.Published 08 Mar 2017, 20:24 IST