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Barcelona view Bayer Leverkusen star as 'ideal replacement' for Joao Cancelo

Barcelona view Leverkusen star as 'priority signing' this summer
© Imago
Barcelona reportedly make Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong their primary target, with Hansi Flick keen to sign the defender in this summer's transfer window.

Barcelona have reportedly made Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong their primary target, with manager Hansi Flick keen to secure the 23-year-old defender in this summer's transfer window.

Frimpong, who had an excellent season for the Bundesliga champions, is considered an ideal replacement for Joao Cancelo, who is set to return to Manchester City this month.

The Dutchman made 46 appearances for Xabi Alonso's side in the 2023-24 campaign and registered 24 goal involvements, scoring 14 and setting up a further 10.

His eye-catching stats have put him on the radar of several European powerhouses, including Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The wing-back's impressive performances also secured him a place in the Netherlands' squad for Euro 2024 in Germany.

Germany coach Hansi Flick before the match on September 9, 2023© Reuters

Hansi Flick makes Frimpong signing top priority this summer

According to Sport, Flick has prioritised signing a new full-back this summer and has told the club that Frimpong is the player at the top of his shortlist.

The Barca boss is believed to have followed the 22-year-old since he was at Celtic and considers the player a perfect fit in his preferred way of playing football, with attacking full-backs.

Jules Kounde filled in at right-back several times last season but is naturally a central defender and Flick is looking to use him in his preferred position next season.

However, the report adds that Frimpong has a release clause of around £35m attached to his name, which will pose an issue for Barca in getting a deal done given their current financial situation.

Additionally, it is understood that the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal champions are not willing to accept anything less than the asking price they have set for their in-demand defender.

Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong celebrates their second goal on December 6, 2023© Reuters

Frimpong plays down Barca transfer speculation

Frimpong came through the Manchester City training academy but rose to prominence during an 18-month spell with Scottish giants Celtic.

Barca are keen to secure a new deal for Cancelo, but City are unwilling to budge from the £25m price tag they have set and are reportedly not interested in the possibility of another loan agreement.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Frimpong played down talk of a move to Barcelona when quizzed about the current speculation.

He said: "Exactly, just like you said: rumours. I don't read rumours. Rumours are just rumours, anyone can say anything."

The Dutch international's current contract with Die Werkself runs until the end of the 2027-28 season.

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Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 25, 2023
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