Barcelona have €25m (£20.8m, $27.9m) left to spend on an attacker this summer following the addition of left-back Lucas Digne. Sporting director Robert Fernandez added that the club are still debating whether to sign a veteran talent or a promising youngster, but says a final decision will be made soon. He also ruled out the recruitment of a right-back to fill the gap left by the departure of Dani Alves.
Luis Enrique had pencilled in the signing of a centre-back and a new forward as his top priorities for the summer mercato. Samuel Umtiti's move to the Nou Camp fulfilled the first requirement, while Barcelona also signed Digne and the versatile Denis Suarez to add more depth to their squad.
The Catalans are now ready to focus their energies on a forward who can serve as back-up for the MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Mundo Deportivo has named the promising youngster Luciano Vietto as the player most likely to join, although the club have not completely given up on 29-year-old Kevin Gameiro. Sport adds a third name to the list, Deportivo de la Coruna striker Lucas Perez, with the Spaniard having a €12m price tag on his head.
Fernandez refused to name any targets, adding that the club was still debating over whether to go for an upcoming prospect or a proven star.
"We are going to sign a striker," Fernandez confirmed during the presentation of Digne. "There has been a lot of speculation and it's true that in terms of signing a forward there are two lines we could follow: a young player or a veteran one. We are looking at several options and it will not take long to make a final decision."
Meanwhile, Albert Soler, the Barcelona director of sporting institutional relations, confirmed the club have around €25m left in the transfer kitty, having already spent €45m on Suarez (€3.5m), Umititi (€25m) and Digne (€16.5m). The club's €60m original budget increased to €68m following the sale of Marc Bartra, and the pot would rise if any more players leave the Nou Camp.
"We have always said that the club had €60m to sign plus the money generated by the sale of players. At present we have around €23m or €25m left," Soler said, suggesting that they could still spend should a good opportunity arrive. "The market ends on 31 August so we still have time. If the club sees that there is an opportunity to sign a player there is not problem in bringing over money from other seasons to make more signings. There is still room for improvement in the squad."
However, Fernandez talked down the chance of signing a new right-back, as he feels the club already have cover to replace Alves.
"We have two players in that position: Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal. Signing another right-back is not on the table. We have two and signing another will block them. Sergi Roberto made an extraordinary start last season and can play in several positions. And the same forAleix. He had to wait until winter to play [due to the Fifa transfer embargo] and then he had to wait because Alves was playing at a great level. We will not sign a player for this position."