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Report: Juventus defender decides to leave club, wants to join Barcelona in January

Experienced backup for Sergi Roberto? Huh!

Juventus FC v US Sassuolo - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Stephan Lichtsteiner has always been one of the most consistent full-backs in European football. He isn't the most talented or the fastest, but the Swiss defender is solid in everything he does, and he has played at a high level for a long time while at Juventus.

But things have changed for him. The arrival of Juan Cuadrado last season limited Stephan's playing time, and he began to feel a little unsettled. Juventus then signed Dani Alves from Barça this summer, and Lichtsteiner's playing time was cut to nearly zero minutes. The 32-year-old was then very close to completing a transfer to Inter Milan, but Juventus blocked the move in the last minute.

After that failed transfer Lichtsteiner has had enough, and he's made the decision to leave Juventus in the January transfer window, according to reports in Italy. His contract runs out at the end of the season, and the Bianconeri will not extend it, which makes him available to join any club for free next summer. But even if he does leave in January, he'll be leaving at a very low price with only six months left in his deal, and since he's still got enough left in the tank, his signing would be a bargain for whoever ends up with him.

And if you believe the latest reports coming out of Catalonia, that club could be Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo says that Lichtsteiner's favorite destination is the Catalan giants, and sporting director Robert Fernández is interested. Aleix Vidal is no longer part of the plans and will be leaving as soon as January comes, and the Blaugrana will need a backup to Sergi Roberto.

Robert's preferred choice is Valencia's João Cancelo because of his age and potential, but if that deal doesn't work, Robert will go the alternative route and search for a more experienced player who would do a solid job whenever required. Darijo Srna from Shakhtar Donetsk has been linked quite a few times over the summer, but Lichtsteiner looks like a much better choice.

It does look like a guarantee that Barcelona will sign a new right-back in January, and the list now has four names: Arsenal's Héctor Bellerín (the dream signing that probably won't happen), João Cancelo (the dream signing that's likely), Srna (good player) and Lichtsteiner (better player). What's your favorite choice there, Blaugranes?

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