Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez has admitted Denis Suarez is likely to return to the Nou Camp at the season's end, making him their first transfer signing of the summer. The club chief added that other priorities for the mercato will see the addition of a forward and a defender to Luis Enrique's ranks.
Suarez moved to Barcelona from Manchester City's academy in the summer of 2013. The versatile midfielder, who can play also on the left-wing, enjoyed an impressive spell with Barcelona's B team before moving to Sevilla on what was meant to be a two-year loan. However, Villarreal broke the deal between the Catalans and the Andalucian outfit last summer, securing his services but with Barcelona keeping an option to buy him back for around €3m (£2.3m) at the end of the current campaign.
Luis Enrique suggested during the January transfer window that Barcelona were interested in bringing the player back sooner, due to the issues in securing Celta Vigo's Nolito. Villarreal refused any offers though, preferring to let the Catalans receive his services in the summer instead.
Fernandez has now seemingly confirmed his club's intentions, after the 22-year-old Spaniard impressed Barca officials by bagging four goals and nine assists in 33 appearances this season for the Yellow Submarine.
"Dennis Suárez will probably come in the summer. There is a high percentage chance," the Barcelona chief confirmed during an interview with Estudio Estadio TVE. "He's a player we value. We looked at signing him in the winter market but circumstances meant we couldn't do it. Villarreal's stance was logical.
Luis Enrique was after the signing of a versatile forward during the January transfer window to serve as a back-up for the MSN trio formed by Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. However, the board failed to fulfil the manager's wishes, being unable to sign Nolito due to the club economic statutes.
Fernandez claims that Barcelona will have fresh money to spend in the next window, with a forward and a defender as the main priorities.
"There is money to sign new players. We will go into the market to find the players we considered interesting," he said. "As in December, the priority may be a striker. And it could also be a defender."
Nolito was the top target during the January transfer window. However, Fernandez suggests that the club may now turn their attention elsewhere amid speculation linking them with Rennes starlet Ousmane Dembele.
"The situation for signing Nolito in January was not favourable. The club statutes did not allow us to do it and Celta did not accept our conditions," he said. "The summer market changes completely from the January one. We may go and sign another player."