Barcelona chief Albert Soler has claimed that the La Liga giants are working to complete the signing of a young promising striker who is around 22-years-old before 10 August. The club's director of professional sports Albert Soler refused to name the target, but suggested that the new signing could be now playing in South America.
The La Liga and the Copa del Rey champions are desperately trying to sign a forward to complete their summer overhaul after having already bolstered other lines with the additions of Denis Suárez, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne and André Gomes. However, they are struggling to secure their main targets after having been repeatedly knocked back by many of them, due to their reluctance to move to the Nou Camp to be only a mere back-up for the unmovable MSN trio formed by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Sevilla's latest additions Luciano Vietto, Kévin Gameiro, Tony Sanabria, Nolito, Hatem Ben Arfa and Ousmane Dembélé have all been linked with the role during the current transfer window, but only to opt to move somewhere else instead.
Earlier this week Barcelona said that they were ready to step up the hunt for the striker after the club's economic vice-president, Susana Monje, revealed that they still have around €24m (£20.2m, $26.8m) left in the kitty for the operation.
Newcastle United forward Ayoze Pérez, Lucas Pérez, Carlos Bacca, Mario Gómez and Alexander Lacazette had been linked with the club in recent days. But on Friday it emerged that Barcelona's technical secretary, Robert Fernández, had travelled to South America to sound out other options.
Now Soler has confirmed the news, while hoping to complete the deal before their Joan Gamper friendly against Sampdoria on 10 August.
"We are looking for a young forward (of around) 22-years-old", Soler said as quoted by Sport. "The technical secretary, Robert Fernandez, has travelled to South America. We are following some players there who have been in our agenda for some time.
"We would like to present him in the Gamper. But it is true that we have time until 31 August. The objective is that he is here for the start of La Liga [21 August]. If we can close the deal in 15 days, we will do. There are various open negotiations and one of the conditions that we want is that the player wants to come to FC Barcelona."
In this sense, Sport claims that three of the names in the radar are coveted Gabriel Jesus, Gremio starlet Luan and Sao Paulo's Jonathan Calleri. However, neither of the negotiations look easy as Manchester City are reportedly on the verge to sign the former one, while reports in England have tipped Calleri to join West Ham instead.