Luan
Luan could serve as a back-up for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar at Barcelona.Getty

Barcelona expect to complete the transfer of Luan Guilherme de Jesus Viera before the end of the week after the Brazilian striker has emerged as the Catalans' top target to complete their summer overhaul, according to Sport.

Liverpool and Leicester City have also been linked with the Gremio forward this summer, but the Spanish publication claims that the La Liga giants have stepped up discussions with the player's entourage and hope to complete the transfer in the coming days.

Barcelona's director of professional sports, Albert Soler, revealed late last month that the Barcelona technical secretary, Robert Fernandez, had travelled to South America in order to secure the services of a promising forward. The club have been repeatedly knocked back by the likes of Luciano Vietto, Gabriel Jesus, Nolito, Hatem Ben Arfa and Ousmane Dembele - each reluctant to serve purely as understudies to the MSN trio formed by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

"We are looking for a young forward (of around) 22-years-old," Soler is quoted as telling 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."

Sport then claimed that, despite new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus being the original dream target, Luan is still likely to make the move to the Nou Camp.

The 23-year-old striker is considered one of the biggest prospects in Brazilian football and is currently representing his country at the Rio 2016 Olympics, alongside Gabriel Jesus himself and Neymar.

According to Luan's agent, Leicester City also tried to secure his services this summer before opting to sign Ahmed Musa instead, while last week Sport claimed that Liverpool and one unnamed Italian club had also expressed interest in the player.

Reports indicate that although Gremio were initially reluctant to let the striker go, they are now happy to cash-in on the player for around €22m (£18.7m, $24.4m).

And now Sport claims that Barcelona are ready to step up the negotiations to clinch the deal.

The Spanish publication claims that Fernandez is still in Brazil and is keen for the deal to be completed this week in order to have the forward available for the start of La Liga.

Sport suggest that Luan has already given his approval to go ahead with the deal, stating that although the striker still has offers from other European clubs, his priority is to move to the Barcelona.