Barcelona did a lot of their homework for June in January. They brought forward the signing of Jean-Clair Todibo, who will compete with Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet in defence, and also agreed to sign Frenkie de Jong for 75 million euros from Ajax in the summer.
The next objective is to sign a striker who can fill in for Luis Suarez and, in the long-term, even replace the Uruguayan.
Barça want a young forward, someone playing in Europe who can grow at the club. The name in question is Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic. Reports in Germany say there's already an agreement with Jovic. Barça deny that but admit he is one of the forwards on their list, although they haven't yet decided whether to push for him or not.
The Frankfuerte Allgemeine reported on Monday that Barça have blocked Jovic going elsewhere. They claimed a long-term deal's in place between the club and the striker. Sources at the Catalan club deny that. They do, though, admit contact with the player's people and are up to date on his situation. In fact, they would be in pole position if they did move for Jovic.
Barça like his goal scoring ability and, above all, his price. Frankfurt will take up an option to sign the striker from Benfica for 12 million euros. And his price in June would then be around 40 million.
Jovic has been followed all season. Barça believe he has the quality but will not make a final decision until March. The leaking of an agreement gives an insight into the rush the player's people have, whether with Barça or another club, to get a big deal tied up. There's also interest from the Premier League and, with Jovic one of the stars of the Bundesliga this year, also from Bayern Munich.
Barcelona hope to sign a striker for less than 50 million euros and don't rule out a loan with an option to buy. A lot of their summer budget has gone on De Jong and now a lot depends on summer sales.