Barcelona are acting fast in securing a replacement for Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-
Germain in a world-record €222m (£198m) deal, and have now agreed to personal terms with Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele.
The Catalan club made the French attacker their priority target following the Brazilian's move and are now favourites to clinch his signature despite interest from arch rivals Real Madrid and Premier League side Arsenal.
According to French publication L'Equipe, the Catalan giants began talks with Dembele and his representatives over the weekend – Friday (4 August) – and have now agreed to personal terms with an offer of a long-term contract. Barcelona have now begun negotiations with Dortmund over the price, and it is expected that they will meet the Bundesliga club's €100m valuation.
The 20-year-old attacker, who has spoken of his desire to play for Barcelona, joined Dortmund from Rennes last summer and made 49 appearances across all competitions. He contributed with 10 goals and 21 assists to help the German club win the BFB Pokal and he can play either on the left wing – Neymar's position – or through the middle as an attacking midfielder.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is keen to bolster his squad at the earliest and is also looking at bringing in enforcements in midfield. Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho, who currently plays in the Chinese Super League with Guangzhou Evergrande, is the manager's primary target.
According to Spanish publication Sport, the Catalan giants have reignited their interest in the midfielder after their initial €25m bid was rejected and are now said to be in advanced talks with the midfielder and the club. The report expects the move to be finalised in the coming days.
Paulinho is not the only target on Valverde's radar as the former Athletic Bilbao coach looks to overhaul his midfield. Nice's Jean Michael Seri and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho are also on the list of potential arrivals with reports suggesting that the latter is close to a move to Barcelona with the club ready to part with upwards of €100m to convince the Reds to sell the Brazilian.