Barcelona have no intention of selling Javier Mascherano in January, with the idea being that the Argentine defender can go in January. But in any case, the club are preparing alternatives. They would not sign a player to start ahead of Umtiti or Pique, but someone as back-up.
The Blaugrana staff are finding it problematic to get players who want to sign, knowing that they will not get a lot of minutes. They are looking for footballers with a good quality to price ratio, who are capable of understanding their role.
One of the targets is Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah. He is 20 and his price would be around 20m euros. He is willing to join but the staff think he might be a risk to bring in halfway through a season.
A reliable and secure option is Inigo Martinez. They know his 32m euro clause is not negotiable, but he's a defender the coach likes and has experience in the Spanish league. Inigo agreed to sign for Barcelona this summer, but the club pulled out at the last moment. Barcelona say he would get minutes but have not spoken to him about a starting role.
Another name on the list is Stefan de Vrij. The Lazio defender has recovered after a bad injury and is an opportunity on the market. His contract expires at the end of the season and it would be a relatively simple operation. Various clubs want him and Lazio would sell him if he doesn't sign a new deal.
Barcelona are also monitoring young defenders at a much cheaper price, like Mouctar Diakhaby, of Lyon. At 20 he's doing well in the French league. He has good potential and the operation would not cost too much.