Barcelona were not overly keen on signing in January but the circumstances have changed. The injury to Samuel Umtiti leaves them short in the middle of defence. Playing with just Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Thomas Vermaelen (himself just back from injury) is not the best scenario and the club are looking at solving the problem.
There's concern about Umtiti's injury. The French defender returned from a knee injury against Atletico Madrid but the pain came back. He's in Qatar receiving conservative treatement on the problem. The danger of surgery is high, but until now the France international has tried to avoid that option.
Therefore, there was a meeting at the club. Ernesto Valverde recommended brining in a centre-back as soon as possible. The signing committee agreed. The risk is big, despite good performances from the B team defenders, and the objective is to sign cover. The Champions League is the main objective and depth is needed.
Barça will look to do a deal whereby they only have to pay the player's wage. They're looking at a six-month loan with an option to buy. The profile, after much debate, is a young player. However, the long-term priority remains to sign Ajax's De Ligt in the summer.
It's no secret that Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, even though the English club don't want to loan him at the moment, is a potential target. Spain U21s Jorge Mere, of German side Cologne, is another option.