Barcelona are interested in signing Lille star Renato Sanches but are likely to fail owing to their dire financial situation. The Catalan club are strapped for cash and president Joan Laporta has made it clear that the club's top priority remains re-signing Lionel Messi to a new deal, which will see them offload numerous first-team players to raise funds and slash the wage bill.

Sanches is coming off an impressive campaign at the recently concluded European Championship, which has reignited interest in the midfielder. The 23-year-old also had an impressive domestic campaign with Lille, helping the club beat Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title.

According to French publication Le10 Sport, Barcelona are really keen to sign the midfielder and have made contact with his representatives. Ronald Koeman wants to strengthen his midfield this summer but will be restrained owing to the lack of funds at his disposal.

Camp Nou talisman Messi's new contract remains Barcelona's top priority this summer. La Liga president Javier Tebas has made it clear to the club that they have to slash their wage bill drastically in order to register the Argentine's contract and any other new signings.

The La Liga giants have thus far raised £21 million (€26.5m) from sales of fringe players Jean-Clair Todibo, Konrad de la Fuentes and Junior Firpo. The club need to offload a number of high earning players in order to make a real dent in their wage bill, which has seen them tell a number of senior players like Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Umtiti to find a new home.

Sanches' impressive showing for Lille and Portugal has attracted the attention of a number of clubs across Europe. Barcelona, if they can raise the funds, will not have it easy to sign the £30 million rated midfielder.

The La Liga giants are certain to be challenged by Premier League big guns Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who have also registered their interest in the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

Renato Sanches
Stripped for success: Lille's Renato Sanches (#18) celebrates his winner FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP