Barcelona’s centre-back search to spell bad news for Man Utd

Jose Mourinho

Barcelona’s chase for a centre-back in January has been stepped up, according to reports.

The La Liga side have added a host of new names to their target list alongside Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, according to Mundo Deportivo.

De Ligt  19, was believed to be attracting the interest of both Manchester United and Spurs in the summer, with The Sun claiming Ajax had put a £50million asking price on his head.

The report also claims that Barca are keen on two players who have been linked with moves to Old Trafford.

Former England coach Fabio Capello has claimed that Jose Mourinho told him that he was looking to sign Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and those two are also on Barca’s radar.

RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, 19, is another named on Ernesto Valverde’s shopping list, while Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Nunez, 21, is also said to have drawn interest from the Blaugrana.

Diario Sport though cite a report from TV3 claiming that Dutch international De Ligt has surpassed Ajax team-mate and central midfielder Frenkie de Jong at the top of Valverde’s wish-list and is “a top priority”.

After losing Yerry Mina and with Samuel Umtiti’s injury coupled with Gerard Pique’s loss in form, Valverde is looking for defensive recruits and that may well spell bad news for Mourinho with the two clubs watching the same players.