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Barcelona join Tottenham in Cristian Romero race - report

The defender won Copa América with Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero

Brazil v Argentina: Final - Copa America Brazil 2021 Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

FC Barcelona are reported to be joining the race to sign Atalanta defender Cristian Romero, according to the latest news from Italy.

They are attempting to sign one of the world’s best defenders in his age bracket, but it won’t be easy. Tottenham Hotspur are said to be one of the leading candidates to get the 23-year-old.

According to the rumors, the Catalans have presented their first offer to Atalanta and are “serious” about making a move. However, Barcelona’s wage bill problems are very well known. They will have to shed some high earners to afford Romero’s wage, but it seems it’s not impossible if they make the right moves.

Romero came through the youth ranks of Belgrano before joining Genoa in Serie A. Juventus were impressed and acquired him although loaned him right back to Genoa in 2019. He was then loaned to Atalanta with an option to buy in 2020. It was at Atalanta that he truly shined, earning the recognition of many as the best defender in Italy.

Atalanta have not officially used their purchase option from Juventus but it is widely expected that they will soon. Thus, clubs will have to negotiate with Atalanta in order to make the purchase.

Romero won the Copa América with Argentina alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero. He suffered through injuries that kept him out of most of the knockout stage games, except the final, which he played with painkillers. Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 with a hard-earned clean sheet and a goal from Ángel Di María. Messi played the full 90 and Agüero was an unused substitute.