Spanish giants Barcelona are keeping close tabs on Villarreal stopper Eric Bailly, according to El Mundo Deportivo.
It is no secret that the Catalans plan to rejuvenate their back line, with Marquinhos, Aymeric Laporte and Jose Maria Gimenez among their top targets.
However, with none of the three players expected to be leaving their current employers any time soon, Barcelona have turned their attention to Villarreal starlet Eric Bailly.
The Catalans technical secretary Robert Fernandez has been impressed with the Ivorian’s performances this season as he regularly watched his teammate Denis Suarez in action.
Barcelona are unlikely to step up their interest until after the end of the 2016/2017 season, and they hope it wouldn’t take more than €25 million to purchase the 22-year-old defender.
Eric Bailly had begun his professional career at Espanyol, but impressive displays for Ivory Coast at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations saw him secure a move to El Madrigal.