Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu is understood to have travelled to Portugal on Monday as he prepares to undergo a medical with Sporting CP.
The Frenchman has fallen down the pecking order at the Nou Camp and the emergence of Samuel Umtiti last season saw him become a peripheral figure for much of the campaign.
A Bola: Jeremy Mathieu is in Lisbon ahead of a medical at Sporting.https://t.co/eSmr2Xyjbx
— AS English (@English_AS) June 19, 2017
With Mathieu seemingly not in new manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans for next season, the centre-back is expected to leave Catalunya this summer as he goes in search of regular first-team football.
Portuguese publication A Bola, via AS, claim that Sporting CP appear to have won the race to sign the 34-year-old and suggest that he has arrived in Lisbon ahead of a medical.
Sporting are understood to be keen to push the transfer through as quickly as possible as they fear a number of other interested clubs could look to make a last ditch attempt to sign Mathieu.
Among the other interested clubs are thought to be Ligue 1 outfit Marseille and Turkish side Fenerbahce.
But Sporting remain in pole position to sign the experienced Frenchman and having monitored his situation at Barcelona for several months now, they appear set to strike a deal with Barca.
It remains unclear whether the Portuguese side will need to pay a transfer fee but whilst that has yet to be established, a successful medical would bring Mathieu closer to signing for them.
Though the French international saw little game time last season, he has a wealth of experience and having joined the Blaugrana from Valencia three years ago he has won numerous trophies including La Liga, the Copa del Rey and European club football’s holy grail, the Champions League.