Shakhtar Donetsk right-back Darijo Srna is said to be preparing a "final meeting" with Barcelona officials ahead of a January free agent move. Mundo Deportivo claims both parties have already agreed a deal in principle for the 34-year-old defender to switch to the Nou Camp, and are now ironing out terms on his salary.
Srna has been linked with the La Liga giants since Pep Guardiola's days, and speculation about a move to Barcelona re-emerged in summer's transfer window following the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus.
Manager Luis Enrique instead opted to hand Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal opportunities to fill the gap left by the Brazilian, but the latter is seemingly far from the boss's current plans.
The former Sevilla wing-back has made just four appearances so far this season, spending three months in exile before being handed rare opportunities in the Copa del Rey encounter with Hercules and the Champions League dead rubber with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Accordingly, Barca have been linked with the likes of Srna, Valencia's Joao Cancelo and Juventus's Stephan Lichtsteiner ahead of the January transfer window.
Last month AS reported that the Shakhtar Donetsk man had emerged as top target after Juventus closed the door on Lichtsteiner following Alves' recent injury – while the Catalans cannot afford to make a big investment in January for a player like Cancelo.
Shakhtar Donetsk head coach Paulo Fonseca confirmed last week that Barcelona's interest in Srna was real, but added that he hoped the player would continue in his ranks.
"I know of the interest," he said. "It is not for me to make this decision. We know the importance of Srna on our team and we also know of his importance to the club. [Srna] has spent many years with us. I sincerely hope he doesn't go."
But Mundo Deportivo is now reporting that Srna's move to Barcelona is closer than ever as the player is just awaiting a call from the Catalans to dot the i's and cross the t's.
The Spanish publications claims Shakhtar have already given Srna the green light to move for free as a reward for his contributions to the team since arriving from Hajduk Split in 2003.
Mundo Deportivo adds that Srna has reached a pre-agreement deal to join Barcelona for the remainder of the campaign and all of next season, but still needs a final meeting with the Catalans to discuss salary requirements. The veteran defender is currently receiving a huge wage packet at Shakhtar and, considering he will move as a free agent, is expected to demand a big fee to complete his move to the Nou Camp.
The Spanish publication suggest both parties are likely to reach a final agreement soon, but Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez still has other alternatives should the move fall through.