Ghanaian international and Southampton defender, Mohammed Salisu has reportedly attracted interest from Spanish giants, Barcelona as the club plans for the possible departure of Gerard Pique.

Although the veteran defender’s contract does not run out until 2024, Barcelona have started planning for a log term future without him.

They have thus shortlisted a number of high profile players as potential replacements including Mohammed Salisu of Southampton.

According to Spanish tabloid Fichajes, Aymeric Laporte, Sven Botman, Matthijs De Ligt and Cristian ‘Cuti’ Romero are the other four players on the shortlist.

Barcelona’s interest in the player is said to have began during his time at Real Valladolid before his switch to England last summer.

While his debut season was not inspiring, Mohammed Salisu has been impressive this season, starting all of his side’s four games of the season.

He was even named in WhoScored’s Team of the Week alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Trent Alexander Arnold and Edouard Mendy of Senegal and Chelsea.

Salisu also received significant praise from Arsenal legend Ian Wright for the role he played in stopping talisman Antonio in his side’s goalless draw with West Ham over the weekend.

“They [Southampton] played a little bit differently. We know that West Ham came into it with seven points from three games, but I thought Southampton played brilliantly, [Mohammed] Salisu and [Jack] Stephens in particular, they totally nullified [Michail] Antonio,” Wright said on BBC.

“They restricted West Ham a bit and they were at them, they didn’t give them time, and Salisu and Stephens really had it locked off with the way they were defending. West Ham were just crowded out and I like the way that Southampton did it because it was a different way of playing.

“Antonio, we have seen all season so far, he has been roughing people up, but on this occasion, I thought they both dealt with him very well, they were just very good, very solid, in the right place and making clearances.

“In the end, they had good chances and they could have nicked it in the end, but it was brilliant from Southampton.”

Mohammed Salisu’s contract at Southampton ends in 2024 and Barcelona will be expected to pay more than the €12 million his side paid to Real Valladolid to secure his signature last year.