Clément Lenglet should be preparing himself to dive head-first into a transfer battle that could stretch across the summer, as Manchester United and Chelsea fight to snatch the Sevilla defender’s signature to re-enforce their back-line for the upcoming season.
Lenglet made 35 La Liga appearances in 2017/18 for Los Hispalenses as they achieved a modest seventh place, just outside of a Europa League spot.
The 22 year-old centre-back garnered Manchester United’s interest whilst keeping a clean sheet against the Red Devils in the Europa League’s Last 16, a tie that Seville eventually won.
French Under-21 international Lenglet apparently has a release clause of £30.7 million which either club would have few qualms about triggering. Both clubs have forked out considerable sums for defenders in the past, with Rio Ferdinand setting the tone back in 2005, and Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz moving for £30million plus to the Blues.
The current market for defenders suggests a fairly reasonable price for Lenglet. The trend has been set recently by champions Manchester City and Liverpool with players such as Virgil van Djik and Kyle Walker arriving for unprecedentedly extortionate fees.
Two years ago, Lenglet was playing in Ligue 1 with AS Nancy in their relegation-destined season, managing 18 appearances before moving to Sevilla in the 2017 January transfer window for just under £5million.
Arsenal are also reportedly circling. The Gunners themselves have previous form for expensive defensive signings, with Shkodran Mustafi arriving from Valencia for £35million in 2016.
However, with apparently only £50million to play with this summer, a moderate amount when compared with their Premier League competitors, new manager Unai Emery might not want to deplete his funds on a young player untested in the Premier League, leaving the way open for an old United/Chelsea tussle.
However, his connections with Lenglet’s current parent Sevilla- the club he managed to three back-to-back Europa successes between 2013 and 2016- might ease the Frenchman’s passage to the Emirates.
Lenglet has reportedly asked for a deadline of the end of the month for a decision to be made about his future. With Barcelona yet another speculated destination, it looks increasingly unlikely that that future with be at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.