Barcelona are refusing to give up their pursuit of Paco Alcacer, despite Valencia manager Paco Ayestaran's statement on 22 August that his striker is going nowhere. Mundo Deportivo claims the Catalans have already reached a formal agreement with the Spain international, while Los Che owner Peter Lim has also greenlit the deal.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks after manager Luis Enrique reportedly identified him as the perfect candidate to back-up the MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Mundo Deportivo and Sport suggested earlier this month that the transfer was only a matter of time. The Catalans were said to be ready to include the likes of Munir El Haddadi and Sergi Samper to sweeten the deal.
However, Valencia president Lay Hoon Chan has since claimed that Alcacer will stay at Mestalla as he is a key player for Ayestaran.
Ayestaran said the same after deploying the Spaniard in his starting line-up during the 4-2 defeat to Las Palmas on Monday night (22 August).
"The president told me that he was not for sale, and if that's what she says, that's what I believe," Ayestaran said, also ruling out the departure of Arsenal target Shkodran Mustafi.
But Mundo Deportivo and Marca now report that Barcelona are refusing to throw in the towel. According to the Catalan publication, the La Liga giants have already reached a formal agreement with the player over personal terms, while Valencia owner Peter Lim is also keen to sanction the transfer.
The Spanish publication points out that Lay Hoon Chan and club sporting director Jesus García Pitarch are still reluctant to let him go – after having already seen other key stars like Andre Gomes and Javi Fuego leave the club during the current transfer window.
However, both Mundo Deportivo and Marca claim that Peter Lim's approval to sanction the transfer could see the rest of Valencia officials accepting that it "doesn't make sense" to keep the player any longer.
Marca add that Barcelona are expected to launch a final attempt in the coming hours and would be ready to pay up to €30m (£25.8m, $34m) to complete the deal.
Mundo Deportivo add that Los Che are already preparing for the life without Alcacer, with Deportivo de la Coruna striker Lucas Perez having emerged as the main candidate to move to Valencia in case the Spain international makes the move to the Nou Camp.
Should Barcelona fail to convince Valencia to part ways with Alcacer, they will not sign any other striker and will instead keep Munir El Haddadi to be the fourth choice attacker.