Reports: Barcelona defender expected to move in the summer
What’s the story?
Barcelona centre-back Jeremy Mathieu, who had a poor 2016/17 campaign, looks set to leave the club this summer. The Frenchman’s form was on a downfall since last two seasons and the club management, now, are looking to offload the player.
The Catalans have put the player on the transfer market and clubs such as Greek champions Olympiacos, Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon and France’s Marseille are reportedly possible destinations for the 33-year-old. However, according to reports in Sport, he has been offered to the Greek side.
In case you didn’t know...
Jeremy Mathieu arrived in Spain from French side Toulouse to play for Unai Emery’s Valencia in 2009. The player impressed for the Spanish side with his strong physique and tackling skills.
He made 126 appearances for the Valencianistes, scoring six goals before signing a four-year deal with Barcelona in 2014. He went on to enjoy a trophy-laden season with the club but was sidelined from the squad because of injuries and a poor run of form.
The 2016/17 season proved to be much worse for the player. The arrival of fellow Frenchman Samuel Umtiti diminished Mathieu's chances of getting first team action as he made just 13 appearances throughout the season.
The heart of the matter
New Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has agreed with the board’s decision of letting Mathieu go as the former Bilbao manager has no intention of giving him a spot on his roster.
As the club are expected to bring another centre-back, it seems the defender is nearing the exit door. La Liga club Sporting Gijon are also one of the clubs interested in Mathieu, but his move to the Greek League is highly likely.
Another Barcelona player Cristian Tello, who was loaned out to Fiorentina this season, is also expected to leave the club and join Olympiacos. Sport report that the Blaugrana duo could be seen as teammates in Greece next season.
Unless there is a twist in this tale, Mathieu is surely leaving Barcelona. His spell at the Camp Nou was a forgettable one and it would be better if he finds himself a new team. Olympiacos might be his club next season and it would be a great chance for him to play at the top level despite having just a few years of football left in him.