Celtic are among a host of clubs who are keeping tabs on Boca Juniors left-back Valentin Barco, according to 90min.com.
The website claims that there are 15 other teams tracking the Argentinian Under 20 international, who has a $10m (£8m) release clause in his contract.
Manchester City, Brighton, Chelsea, Wolves, Newcastle, Brentford and Nottingham Forest are said to be keen on Barco, which could make it very difficult to secure the defender’s signature even if they pay the reported buyout fee.
There are also clubs in Germany, Portugal, Italy and France who could make a move for the 19-year-old when the transfer window reopens in January.
Boca are trying to tie down Barco to a new contract
The fullback’s current deal expires in December next year, and one of Boca’s directors has already spoken out to say that they want to hand an extension to the player.
A key motivation for that would be to increase the release clause. Although Barco’s club have yet to receive a formal bid for the teenager, the amount of interest suggests they could get a lot more than £8m.
Why would Celtic pursue Barco?
The Scottish champions do already have two left-backs in Greg Taylor and Alexandro Bernabei but there are question marks hanging over both players.
Taylor hasn’t had the greatest start to the season, and there is a case to be made for bringing in another player, like Barco, who could provide meaningful competition.
Bernabei, meanwhile, has struggled to make an impact since arriving from Lanus at the start of last season, Neither Ange Postecoglou nor Brendan Rodgers have trusted him to start regularly and it may be that the Hoops’ recruitment team see Barco as a potential upgrade.
Considering the amount of interest in the defender, though, Celtic are by no means the favourites to secure his services.