Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press
Barcelona's search for a new center-back is heating up and the Catalans are already being linked with several talented stars. But if new rumors are to be believed, Barcelona may have already found an answer to their defensive problems.
A recent report from InsideSpanishFootball.com revealed a conversation between Txefe Guerrero and Manchester City executive Txiki Begiristain that suggests that Athletic Club Bilbao center-back, Aymeric Laporte, could already have a pre-agreement with Barcelona.
Laporte, though still just 19 years old, has been one of the best defenders in Europe this season and it makes sense that Barcelona would show interest. The French starlet has caught the eye of several big clubs, but Barcelona believes they can land him.
However, as the report mentions, the rumors may not be all they seem.
Txefe Guerrero, who reported the supposed pre-agreement between Barcelona and Laporte, is notorious in the Basque country for making erroneous claims and false reporting. The conversation with Begiristain may actually be true, but those in Spain are not taking this claim as truth yet.
Regardless of what rumors are floating about, Laporte has a €36 million buy-out clause that Barcelona would have to meet in order to sign the 19-year-old this summer. If the Catalans are serious about re-building, they are going to have to spend a lot of money in the coming months.