Signing a No 9 is Barca’s prime objective this summer. The context is complicated. Luis Suarez is 32 but is still performing brilliantly and has a special link to Lionel Messi.
Then it’s hard to find a striker that fits at Barca. It must be a player with elite finishing but who also has good feet, who can play short passes in tight spaces.
The recent past underlines the difficulty in finding a signing - only top players like Eto’o, Villa and Suarez have managed to fit. Others, like Ibrahimovic, have been left behind.
Neither Paco Alcacer nor Munir were comfortable in Suarez’s shadow. It’s an thankless role. They know they are not real competition and will get few opportunities. Barca have found it hard to sign quality substitutes.
The age of the Uruguayan asks the question - do Barca have to sign real competition for Suarez or a starter in the mid-term?
For now, the club think the latter, with Luka Jovic preferred to Antoine Griezmann.
Per L’Equipe, the Frenchman wants to move to Barca but they are very disappointed after last summer’s debacle.
Griezmann would also cost a huge amount and not fit on the salary scale. He also turns 28 this week. He’s not totally ruled out but Barca seem unlikely to move for him.
More sensible is Jovic. The 21-year-old Serb at Eintracht Frankfurt. He has 22 goals this season.
Big clubs like Bayern, City, Tottenham, United and Chelsea have followed him. He’s still a Benfica player but Frankfurt can buy him for 20m euros at the end of the month.
Barca believe he can become a top player in the medium term.