Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez discussed the Catalan giants' transfer plans during a press conference on Thursday (2 June). The departure of Dani Alves made headlines but the club chief eventually confirmed that signing Denis Suarez from Villarreal is just around the corner. He was more coy about the possibilities of bringing PSG star Marquinhos and Celta Vigo forward Nolito to the Nou Camp.
In recent months, the La Liga champions publicly admitted their intention to re-sign the versatile Villarreal midfielder and find a world-class centre-back to partner Gerard Pique and a forward to serve as back-up for the MSN trio formed by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Denis Suarez was recruited by Barcelona in the summer of 2013, from Manchester City, before being loaned to Sevilla in the 2014-15 campaign. However, after he failed to make the expected impact at the Sanchez Pizuan the Catalans sold him to Villarreal last summer on a permanent basis – maintaining an option to buy him back for just €3.5m (£2.7m, $3.9m) in case he developed into a star.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique tried to exercise that option during the January transfer window after Suarez proven to be one of the sensations of La Liga at the Yellow Submarine. Villarreal blocked the deal because the buy-back clause was invalid mid-season but Fernandez has now claimed his return will be confirmed next month.
"Villarreal have already been told about [Barcelona's intention] to re-sign the player. From 1 July, more or less, they will be notified about his return," Fernandez admitted.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, Sport reported the next addition to the squad could be Marquinhos as the club identified the Brazilian as a top priority to bolster the backline. The Spanish publication claimed that Barcelona had stepped up the negotiations to secure the coveted centre back and are ready to pay €40m to secure his services.
The club technical director confirms his admiration for the player but said: "He is a player that every team would like but I have not spoken to him or with PSG. Trust me. I have not spoke to him or his club."
The speculations about the signing of a versatile forward is also commonplace since the club lost Pedro Rodriguez to Chelsea last summer, leaving Luis Enrique without a proven back-up for his MSN trio.
Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro and Luciano Vietto have been the latest to be linked to the role. Yet, Marca reported earlier this week that Barcelona could renew their attempts to sign Nolito after they failed to secure his services in January, due to financial troubles in meeting his full €18m release clause.
The Barcelona chief said: "He is a player we tried to sign, but as you know, we were unable to do so."
"At this moment, I can not confirm or deny anything. Speaking of players would impact on negotiations. He is under contract at Celta. A lot was spoken about him and I think that negatively impacted things. I have the utmost respect for the player and Celta Vigo."
Robert Fernandez also confirmed that Neymar, Javier Mascherano and (under-scrutiny) Arda Turan will stay at the Nou Camp one more season, while being coy about the potential departures of Marc Bartra and Douglas Pereira.