Barcelona want to close a deal for Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos as soon as possible. Marc Bartra’s move to Borussia Dortmund has set the alarm bells ringing and the club are working on signing two central defenders. The Uruguayan would be one for the future. Luis Enrique has given the OK to the deal and the club know they can’t let him escape. They will double their first offer to make sure he doesn’t end up going elsewhere.
Barça’s first offer was worth four million euros, but with variables could have reached 12 million euros. However, they were met with a firm ‘no’ from the Canary Island club. They know there are a lot of interested teams and they are not in a rush to sell. The Blaugrana have reflected on the situation, but they now believe it’s the right moment to push for the completion of the operation. There are few other options, with the majority of young centre-backs already on the move or overpriced.
The second offer will be much closer to what Las Palmas expect. It will be for eight million euros this time, but still reaching a total of 12 million euros including variable, which is the figure Las Palmas would sell the defender for. Barça can also count on the fact Lemos will do all he can to force a possible move to Camp Nou. The deal could involve a player from the Catalan club moving on loan to the Canaries, but there are no concrete names. Las Palmas would prefer the cash before talking about loaning players.
Lemos has been followed since he was young. He was followed in Russia and the reports have intensified since he joined Las Palmas. There, despite being 20, he has become the leader of the side’s backline and was one of the keys in their good form post-Christmas. Las Palmas paid just over 1.5 million euros to sign the player earlier this summer, knowing that there were various clubs in the Premier League who would pay more for him.
Barcelona's intrusion has put the brakes on an England move, though, and they are now expected to reach an agreement. However, Barça aren’t willing to go above their offer, as they feel it already carries a certain amount of risk. They’re convinced the player will adapt perfectly to the team’s style of play, but to pay more money would be counterproductive. In the case that he’s signed, Barça would try to facilitate Thomas Vermaelen’s exit, while they would still be looking to sign a centre-back more ready to compete for a regular starting spot. Now, though, it’s time to close the Lemos deal.