West Ham and Everton have both made approaches for Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet, but it is another European side who have made the first move, according to reports.
Both Premier League clubs are looking to strengthen in defence ahead of the upcoming season. Rafael Benitez is leading Everton’s charge for a new defender, while West Ham have a space to fill after releasing Fabian Balbuena. According to reports in Spain, they both have their eyes on Lenglet.
Benitez was recently revealed to be an admirer of the French centre-back. Rumours of Everton’s interest in Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli always seemed to be over-ambitious, whereas Lenglet may be a more realistic target.
He made 48 appearances in all competitions for Barca last season, but they may have to sell him to reduce the wage bill.
According to Diario Sport, not only Everton, but also West Ham have made an approach. They are both eyeing a deal on the same terms – a loan with an option to buy.
Barcelona will be listening to all offers for their players, including the 26-year-old. He is not the first name on their list of players to get rid of, but they may have to consider their options.
Therefore, Everton and West Ham will be keeping tabs on the situation.
Rival bid reveals Lenglet price
However, they will face competition from within Italy, because the same report claims Jose Mourinho’s Roma have made an offer. In the process, Lenglet’s Premier League suitors have learned his asking price.
Roma reportedly put €15m on the table for the ex-Sevilla man, but Barcelona rejected the offer. Instead, they are holding out for a fee of €25m if they are to part company with their number 15.
It remains to be seen if Roma will go back in, but even if they do, West Ham and Everton will still fancy their chances. Lenglet would prefer to play in the Premier League next – even if his absolute priority is to remain with Barca.
Such a scenario may be out of his hands, though, meaning his two English admirers still have hope.