SPANISH publication Mundo Deportivo report Mohammed Salisu as part of a five-man defender shortlist for Catalan giants Barcelona.

The 23-year-old Saints centre-back has risen to prominence in his first full season as a Premier League starter, although his form has dipped over the last two months.

Salisu has been at the heart of some calamitous moments alongside partner Jan Bednarek, most notably in the defeats to Watford and Brentford.

However, he had emerged as one of the league’s most promising centre-backs throughout the start of 2022 with a stellar performance versus Manchester City.

The report details he is an expensive option for Barcelona, and potentially not in consideration for a transfer as a result.

He is named in the shortlist alongside Villareal’s Pau Torres, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte and Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt.

Salisu, who played in Spain’s La Liga with Real Valladolid before arriving at St Mary’s in 2020, is under contract with Saints to 2024.

The door has been opened for new contract negotiations to take place, with Salisu saying telling the Daily Echo they can happen when the time is right.

Barcelona are said to need another defensive option in order to try and wrestle Real Madrid from the top, to add to the reported addition of Chelsea’s out of contract Andreas Christensen.

Salisu has made 32 Premier League appearances for Saints this season, scoring his first goal in English football in the EFL Cup at Sheffield United earlier this campaign.

Saints looked to table a first top-half finish in the Premier League since manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival in December 2018, but now look set to finish as low as 15th.

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