Barcelona Transfer Rumours: Barcelona keeping close tabs on Southampton's Cedric Soares
Barcelona are believed to be keeping close tabs on Southampton’s right-back Cedric Soares. The 25-year-old defender is the latest player to be linked with a move to Barcelona in January transfer window after impressing for the Saints since joining them from Sporting at the start of the 2015-16 season.
The Catalan club have been looking to bring in a new right-sided defender in the squad, especially after the departure of Dani Alves and given their pedigree, have been linked with a number of high-profile names in the recent past. Valencia’s Joao Cancelo and Paris Saint Germain’s Serge Aurier along with Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin were believed to be high on manager Luis Enrique’s wishlist.
However, Bellerin seems likely to reject a move to Camp Nou in favour of staying at the Emirates and is expected to sign a contract extension in the upcoming weeks. As a consequence of the same, Barcelona are now having to make alternative plans for the mentioned position and seem interested in Cedric Soares.
Soares was linked with Barcelona in 2015 before Barcelona decided to sign Aleix Vidal from Sevilla instead. The player went on to join Southampton from Sporting Lisbon later that month on a four-year contract in a deal believed to be worth €6.5m(£4.7m).
He made his debut for the Saints on July 30th against Vitesse Arnhem at home playing the full 90 minutes and has since established himself as a regular at the club. Soares was also a part of the Portugal squad during the European Championships 2016, helping his side win the tournament with strong defensive performances.
Barcelona scouts were believed to be in attendance when Southampton locked horns with Inter Milan in the Europa League mid-week. However, they were left disappointed as the player was missing due to injury. Although that does not seem to have deterred the Spanish giants and the club is expected to continue scouting the player for some time to come.
The Portugal international, who snubbed a number of top clubs in favor of Southampton has been in excellent form since joining the Saints last summer. The 25-year-old has made 31 appearances for Southampton across all competitions since his move to St Mary’s.
A sound defender, who is not afraid to fly into tackles and uses his footballing intelligence to make vital interceptions is also excellent with the ball at his feet and we believe he would suit Barcelona’s fluid system.