Barcelona are working on a plan to persuade Kevin Gameiro to serve as back-up for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar next season, according to Mundo Deportivo. The report suggests the Catalans would be ready to pay €20m (£15.9m, $22.5m), plus Alen Halilovic on loan, to tempt Sevilla, but the main problem would be to convince the Frenchman to make the move to work in a secondary role at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona have publicly admitted that the signing of a versatile forward to serve as a back-up for the MSN trident is a top priority ahead of the next season. Manager Luis Enrique has been asking the club officials for a player in that role ever since Pedro Rodriguez moved to Chelsea during last summer's transfer window. Calls will doubtless have become louder after Barca's Champions League elimination against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, when the MSN failed to find the net and Luis Enrique had no solution on the bench to turn around a 2-0 defeat (3-2 on aggregate).
Academy duo Munir and Sandro Ramirez have struggled to fill the gap left by the current Chelsea winger, while Barcelona were unable to sign Celta Vigo star Nolito during the January mercato – as they could not meet his €18m release clause due to the the club's financial statutes.
Mundo Deportivo recently reported that Gameiro had emerged as a top candidate to bolster that position, alongside Ousmane Dembele, after an impressive campaign with Sevilla, scoring 23 goals in 46 appearances, including 15 in La Liga.
Earlier this week reports suggested that Barcelona are ready to pay €20m for his services, sweetening the deal with the loan of Halilovic.
The Spanish publication now claims that Sevilla would be ready to accept such a deal, as they only paid Paris Saint-Germain €7.6m in 2013 for the player's services. The Europa League holders have already sold the likes of Dani Alves, Keita, Ivan Rakitic, Adriano and Aleix Vidal to the Catalans in recent years. They are understood to have already identified two replacements for Gameiro – Chilean Nicolas Castillo and Caen striker Andy Delor – if the Frenchman follows that path in the summer.
However, the key problem for Barcelona would be persuading the striker to go from a star at Sevilla to a back-up elsewhere. Pedro himself left the Nou Camp due to a lack of playing time.
Meanwhile Gameiro, asked recently about the rumours linking him with Barcelona, said: "It's good for me. But I have two years left on my contract and I'm happy at Sevilla,"
"At the moment I'm only thinking about Sevilla, where I'm very comfortable. I only think about the team, about working. I hope we have chances in the Europa League, La Liga and the final of the Copa del Rey at the end of the season."