Barcelona are in a tough battle to land one of their transfer targets this summer.
French defender Jeremy Mathieu has been heavily linked with the Spanish club but so far a deal hasn’t been completed. The main obstacle facing Barcelona is that €20 million fee that Valencia have put on their star defender, according to Marca.
The Spanish paper argues that the Catalan side wants 30-year-old defender and that Mathieu also wants to move away from Valencia. However, Barcelona are unwilling to match the fee that Valencia are sticking to.
This has led to a standoff between the two clubs, with Valencia confident they will be able to keep hold of their man.
Mathieu joined his current club from French side Toulouse in 2009. His he previously made 112 league appearances for the Ligue 1 club, becoming an integral member of their squad.
At Valencia the defender, who can play at centre half and left back, has made over 120 appearances in all competitions and has managed to chip in with three goals.
Barcelona are going through something of a transition period after a disappointing season. Their new manager Luis Enrique has already rung the changes, with young players like Deulofeu being made part of the squad for the coming year and given the chance to establish themselves.
Other star players have been allowed to leave Spain. Alexis Sanchez has moved to Arsenal while Jose Mourinho has snapped up midfielder Cesc Fabregas at Chelsea.
Their intent to reshape the club was confirmed with the £75 million signing of Luis Suarez earlier in the month. Enrique and the Barcelona board are likely to bring in other recruits in the coming weeks as they look to once again challenge for major honours in the 2014/15 season and beyond.
Let’s have a look at the lad in action. Barcelona fans: would this be the perfect addition to the squad now that Luis Suarez has joined the club?