FC Barcelona will not only meet opposition from Sevilla in their bid to sign defender Clement Lenglet. The Catalan club must also convince the defender to swap the Sanchez Pizjuan for Camp Nou.
It's not that Lenglet isn't attracted to the idea of playing at Barcelona. However, he has shown until now that he is very careful at managing his sporting career. He's aware that at his age (he turns 23 soon), his priority is to play as many minutes at the top level as possible so he can consolidate himself at the elite level and be picked for the France national team.
'no' to juventus
Lenglet's urge to resist the siren song is not new. In 2015/16 Juventus knocked on his door but he preferred to stay at recently promoted Nancy. He was convinced that at only 20 years old he would be condemned to a life on the bench in Turin if he moved to a squad teeming with defensive talent such as Bonucci, Chiellini, Rugani and Barzagli.
Barça's interest is not new. Since he arrived in Spanish football in January 2017 the club's coaches have been looking at him. His quality, his quick acclimatisation to La Liga and his accessible buy-out clause (30 million euros) have led to them already sounding out his agents to find out if he would be ready to switch clubs.
competing to play
The answer, which other big clubs in La Liga, the Premier League and the Bundesliga have also received, is not too different to what Lenglet told 'The Old Lady'. But there are some caveats: he's happy at Sevilla and would only change clubs if he had the chance to keep playing.
Now, to the caveats: Having the chance to play doesn't meant that he is guaranteed to start every game, but rather that he has the chance to compete for a starting place. It should also be said that Lenglet hasn't just arrived at the elite level, but he is a young defender with a great future who has shown that he has a place in the elite in an excellent team, as Sevilla are.
Sevilla don't like the fact that Lenglet's release clause, which is between 30 and 45 million euros according to sources, barely protects his status at the club.
Of course, Barça aren't ready to get into a multimillion-euro bidding war even though the market for centrebacks has gone through the roof recently, with Virgil Van Dijk joining Liverpool for 79 million euros and Aymeric Laporte moving to Manchester City for 65 million.
In any case, Lenglet is now seen as good enough to compete with Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen and Yerry Mina for a place in Barça's starting line-up.