Arsenal have suffered a setback in their pursuit of signing Borussia Monchengladbach star Marc-Andre ter Stegen as Barcelona have confirmed their interest in signing the keeper.
The 21-year-old has been linked to a move to the Emirates as Arsene Wenger was keen on signing the German international, while Barcelona have long maintained their interest in Ter Stegen.
Victor Valdes' contract at the Camp Nou runs down at the end of the season and he has already expressed his desire to leave the club in the summer.
Josep Bartomeu replaced Sandro Rosell as the Catalan club's president after the latter stepped down from his post earlier this month. Barcelona's new president confirmed his side have followed the German stopper to replace Valdes at the end of the season.
"I can't say too much. It is true that he's [Ter Stegen] one of the keepers that we've followed, but we've also looked at others," Goal.com quoted Bartomeu as saying.
"There are a lot of good goalkeepers, but we have the best in the world here. What is unfortunate is that he has decided to leave the club next season," Barcelona's new president added.
Meanwhile, the Spanish champions were also interested in signing Thibaut Courtois, who is currently on loan from Chelsea with Atletico Madrid. However, the Belgium international's father Thierry rejected the reports linking the stopper to Camp Nou and revealed that Barcelona have moved for Ter Stegen.
"Thibaut isn't disappointed Barca have moved for Ter Stegen. Barca were never an option. Thibaut is on loan at Atletico until June 30," Courtois's father explained.
Ter Stegen's contract with the Bundesliga outfit runs out at the end of the next season. The German keeper has already rejected an offer to extend his stay with his current employers.
"I have thought about it for a long time and told Max Eberl and the club today that I do not want to renew my contract at the present time," Ter Stegen told the club's official website.
"I think everyone knows that I'm Borussia through and through, so it was a hard decision for me. I hope the fans will understand and accept it. I owe the club an incredible amount. We want to play together as a team for a good second half of the season now."