Luiz Felipe is in Barcelona’s sights. With Gerard Piqué – who just turned 33 – and Samuel Umtiti – who is struggling with regular knee problems – not at their best, the Spanish giants need to invest in a new pillar for the defensive department, and the Lazio man is a profile that fits their needs.
Given the hefty investments that the club will have to make for Neymar and Lautaro Martinez – at a valuation of €150 and €111 million respectively this summer – the Blaugrana are looking for a defender who is young, matured, and can be secured at a low price; additionally, the player’s salary is another factor to consider.
According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, the value of the Brazilian who is under contract with the Biancocelesti until 2022, is around €40 million. Luiz Felipe also earns just €500 thousand euros plus bonuses per year, which is a figure much lower than any other potential prospects Barcelona are considering. Furthermore, the 22-year-old has an Italian passport; this means that he would not occupy a position being saved for a non-EU player.
This season, the player has made 23 appearances in all competitions; 19 have come from the top flight of Italian football, where he has made 18 starts, scored one goal, and provided one assist.
Luiz Felipe joined Lazio in the summer of 2016 from fourth division Brazilian side Ituano Futebol Clube (SP). After being loaned out to Serie B side Salernitana for one season, he remained with the club and has since become a vital part of the team’s core.