Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso is being considered by Barcelona as a possible long-term replacement for Gerard Pique, Goal understands.
The World Cup winner at Camp Nou is set to turn 32 in February 2019 and the Blaugrana believe a man currently at Stamford Bridge is capable of one day filling a void at the heart of their defence.
The versatile Alonso does have experience of playing as a centre-back from his time at Serie A side Fiorentina, but he has never operated there under Antonio Conte at Chelsea since completing a £23 million move in August 2016.
He has impressed in England in a wing-back role, with his efforts in 2017-18 earning him a place in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year .
Alonso has also been drafted into the senior Spain squad for the first time on the back of consistent outings across English and European competition, with Julen Lopetegui handing him a debut against Argentina in March.
The 27-year-old is now in contention for a seat on the plane to this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia, where he could be given further opportunities to impress.
Barca will be among the interested observers of a man who may soon be given the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father, who graced the books at Camp Nou in the 1980s.
Alonso, who is a product of Real Madrid’s academy system – the club his grandfather once represented – is considered by those in Catalunya to boast the required height, ball skills and tactical awareness to slip seamlessly into the Blaugrana fold.