Upamecano-Kouassi: Barça debate on the centre-backs of the future

The Catalan club are looking at possible defenders to bring in this summer

Kouassi y Upamecano, dos centrales franceses con mucho futuro
Kouassi y Upamecano, dos centrales franceses con mucho futuro | sport

Season after season, Barcelona end up too short in the middle of the defence. This season, they started with four centre-backs, two left footers and two right footers. In theory, it was enough to tackle the campaign. But it's not worked out that well. Samuel Umtiti's fitness issues and Ernesto Valverde's lack of confidence in Jean-Clair Todibo have forced the burden on to Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique (above all the latter). Ronald Araujo from Barça B has even been involved from time to time. 

UPAMECANO

All that means that the club are looking at defensive signings for the summer, above all on the right side of the centre-back pairing, with Gerard Pique now 33. And there are two names on the table. One of them is Dayot Upamecano, who has been linked with Barça several times. The Leipzig is having an excellent season and is drawing interest from many of Europe's big clubs. 

He's physically powerful, good in the air and great on the ball coming out from the back (which is fundamental in Nagelsmann's system). He's tipped to become a regular for France soon. His contract in Germany is up in 2021, so Leipzig could be willing to sell this summer. A fee of 60 million euros has been suggested. 

KOUASSI

The other option is not as well known. And he would be a risk. Albeit a cheap one. The name on the table is Tanguy Kouassi, who is just 17 years old. He is currently at Paris Saint-Germain and has played 13 times for the first team this season, even scoring two goals, proving strong at set-pieces. Thomas Tuchel has shown a great deal of confidence in him and he's done well despite his inexperience. 

And the incomprehensible thing? Tanguy has still not signed his first professional contract. His contract with PSG ends un June and Leipzig are eyeing him as a replacement for Upamecano. But Barça are also monitoring the situation. 

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