Barcelona are ready to step up negotiations to secure the services of Kevin Gameiro after having missed out Nolito to Manchester City, according to Marca. The Spanish publication claims the French striker is keen on moving to Nou Camp, but the deal will not be easy as Sevilla are demanding his full €40m (£30.7m, $45.3m) release clause to part ways with the player.
The La Liga and Copa del Rey winners are desperately looking for a forward to serve as a back-up for the MSN trident (formed by Messi, Suarez and Neymar). Luis Enrique has been demanding a forward since he lost Pedro to Chelsea, and Nolito was his top target during the January transfer window. Nolito, Celta and Barcelona all admitted they were in negotiations but the clubs failed to reach an agreement as the Catalans couldn't afford to meet his €18m release clause.
Marca reported earlier this month that Barcelona could renew attempts to sign the Spaniard ahead of next season as La Liga giants have fresh money to spend during the coming mercato.
Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets encouraged Barcelona officials to trigger his "bargain" clause but earlier this week emerged that Nolito had instead decided to move to Manchester City, with a 3-yeard deal expected to be signed after the European Championships.
Some sources suggests the Spanish forward was tired of waiting for a new offer to Barcelona as the Catalans looked to have different plans for the new mercato. Nevertheless, Barcelona have also been linked with a number of other forwards in recent months, including Gameiro himself, Luciano Vietto, Lucas Perez and Toni Sanabria.
Marca now claims that with Nolito's move to City ironed-out, Barcelona have increased the interest to sign Gameiro as the French striker is their number one target to bolster the attack.
The problem? In the initial conversations with Sevilla, the Andalucian club have let them know the deal will not be easy as they are not ready to negotiate below his €40m release clause.
Meanwhile, Marca claims that Gameiro has received the proposal to move to Barcelona with great enthusiasm but does not want to get involved in the negotiations as he is also happy with the Europe League winners. Yet, he hopes the club will reach an agreement but it will not be easy as Barcelona will not consider paying €40m for a 29-year-old despite Gameiro being Luis Enrique's top target to strengthen his attack.
Sport, meanwhile, has claimed that Barcelona are also negotiating the arrival of Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus but it looks like the potential arrival of the 19-year-old starlet would be a future gamble.