West Ham, Southampton ‘enter talks’ with Barca over full-back

James Holland
Junior Firpo Barca West Ham F365

West Ham and Southampton have both entered talks with Barcelona over defender Junior Firpo, according to reports.

The player is up for grabs this summer after failing to impress Ronald Koeman at the Nou Camp.

Southampton were the first side to ‘make contact’ with Barcelona, but it seems they will face competition for his signature.

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According to Spanish outlet Sport (via Daily Mail), Barcelona are ‘confident’ about selling Firpo soon and have been in talks with the two Premier League sides for a number of days.

Negotiations are continuing over the necessary transfer fee, with Firpo valued at around €16million (£14m) by the Spanish giants.

The 24-year-old is yet to agree to a transfer, although he would likely be open to a new challenge.

He was limited to just seven La Liga appearances in 2020/21, scoring one goal and registering one assist.

He failed to make it into Koeman’s 3-5-2 formation, with the Dutchman preferring Clement Lenglet at left centre-back and Pedri at left wing.

That leaves West Ham and Southampton in a good position to make the signing this summer.

The Hammers already have Aaron Cresswell available, fresh from his best season in the Premier League.

The Englishman picked up eight assists in 36 games as they finished sixth under David Moyes.

Firpo could be brought in to provide cover for Cresswell and become his long-term successor at left-back.

Southampton will put up strong competition as they’re desperate for summer signings.

First-choice left-back Ryan Bertrand was allowed to leave after running down his contract at St Mary’s.

The Saints need to find his replacement in the coming months, and Firpo might be an ideal solution.

His relatively low price tag makes it an affordable deal for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

They also have history with former Barca players. Midfield general Oriol Romeu, who came through the famed La Masia academy, has brought steel into their side since his £6.3million move from Chelsea.

Firpo looks set to follow in his footsteps by securing a St Mary’s switch, unless West Ham can hijack the transfer.