Cash-strapped Barcelona ‘turn their attention to out-of-favour Atletico Madrid defender Felipe Augusto’ as they desperately try to sign two new centre backs in the wake of Gerard Pique’s injury
- Barcelona are reportedly looking to sign Felipe as a defensive reinforcement
- The Catalans are suffering a crisis at the back following Gerard Pique’s injury
- Manchester City’s Eric Garcia is still their preferred signing at centre back
- The Nou Camp side are strapped for cash and recently announced £88m losses
Barcelona have reportedly turned their attention to an unlikely target to solve their defensive woes – the out-of-favour Atletico Madrid defender Felipe Augusto.
The Catalans’ injury crisis deepened when Gerard Pique went off in tears during their 1-0 loss to Atletico last month, with their talisman likely to be out for around four months with a knee injury.
With no senior centre backs currently available after Clement Lenglet’s ankle injury against Osasuna on Sunday, AS reports that Barcelona have added Felipe to their January wish-list alongside No 1 target, Manchester City’s Eric Garcia.
Barcelona have reportedly turned their attention to Felipe (centre) as a defensive signing
It comes after Gerard Pique (centre) was sidelined, plunging Barcelona into crisis at the back
Barcelona were unable to raise the £9million fee required to sign their former youth product Garcia from City in the summer.
The centre back will be out of contract at the end of the season and could leave the Etihad on a free transfer, but Barca need replacements as soon as possible.
That means they may try again for Garcia in next month’s transfer window while looking for a Plan B in the form of Felipe.
Eric Garcia (right) is still Barcelona’s No 1 target after they failed to sign him in the summer
Atletico signed the Brazilian from Porto last season but he has been largely absent from Diego Simeone’s starting line-up since LaLiga’s return after lockdown.
Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez and Mario Hermoso are all ahead of him in the pecking order, but Atletico may want to hang on to him anyway as they look to balance a title challenge with Champions League and Copa del Rey commitments.
Barcelona are said to be weighing up a six-month loan for Felipe if a transfer is not possible, and the reports highlight their cash-strapped predicament following the pandemic.
Last week Barca announced they had reached an agreement in principle with players for wage cuts which will save them £109m.
Barcelona are in financial turmoil and recorded losses of £88million in their latest accounts
But the combined £154m saved along with manager Ronald Koeman’s agreed pay cut would still fall well short of their original £170m saving target.
Barca recorded losses of £88m in their latest accounts with their net debt doubling to £440m, and so their options for January signings may be limited.
Koeman’s side sit a lowly seventh in La Liga, nine points behind second-placed Atletico, who have two games in hand on league leaders Real Sociedad.