Barcelona to sign Lazio’ 24-year-old defender in summer

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Barcelona are reportedly trying to bolster their defense for the next season and are linked with Lazio’s 24-year-old defender Luiz Felipe.

According to reports, Luiz Felipe is the subject of interest from Barcelona over a move in the summer transfer window. The Brazilian defender’s agent has recently held talks with the Catalan giants over the possibility of a transfer.

Barcelona’s interest in Luiz Felipe is nothing new. However, the Catalan side is looking to rejuvenate their squad with lower-cost options in the summer and the Brazilian defender seems to fit that bill perfectly.

Currently, Felipe is valued at €40m and has one year left in his contract. However, Lazio has been trying to pin down a long contract with the defender seeing the interest from different clubs but it has not happened.

It is believed that Barcelona would be signing the defender as a free agent next summer. They cannot afford him currently due to their financial burden because of the pandemic.

Felipe’s life at Lazio

Luiz Felipe joined Lazio from South American club Ituano in the summer of 2016. After initially making slow progress at Lazio he was sent out on loan to Salernitana. This loan spell allowed him to find his feet. The 24-year-old has grown into the role of being a mainstay at the back for Lazio.

Felipe has not been so much beneficial this season as he has only made 14 appearances across all competitions because he underwent serious ankle surgery at the end of January. He still hasn’t returned yet, although he has been making progress in training.

Despite his bad ongoing season, he has been able to attract the likes of some big clubs such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Currently, Lazio sit 6th, three points below Napoli in the Serie A table fighting for the Europa League qualification.

Barcelona an ideal destination for Felipe

Barcelona had one of the best defensive backlines over the years. However, with Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba marching towards the end of their career, and Samuel Umtiti losing his confidence, it is likely that Barcelona is trying to sign defenders for the next seasons.

Currently, Eric Garcia has been looked at as a replacement for Pique. And Jose Gaya has been lined up as a potential replacement for Alba in the team.

With Barcelona’s interest in Felipe, it seems he would be the replacement for Umtiti in the team. The Frenchman has not been able to perform well this season. Barcelona are likely to offload him this summer to sign Felipe.

Felipe is a quick and agile center-back who hardly gets beaten in a 1v1 with the opposition. He possesses remarkable strength to overpower the opponent and win some important headers for his team which makes him a decent choice to be Umtiti’s replacement.

A defender of Felipe’s quality will undoubtedly be the right choice for Ronald Koeman. He could also give a strong competition to Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueze in the team.

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