Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club are interested in signing Valencia striker Rodrigo, guaranteeing that a new forward will join the club in the near future.
La Blaugrana have been searching for a new striker all season, but their plans have been accelerated after Luis Suárez was sidelined for four months with a knee injury.
Rodrigo quickly moved into their sights, and a deal is thought to be fairly close. That has since been backed up by Bartomeu, who admitted (via Marca) that club officials are discussing a move for Rodrigo this month.
“We don’t talk about players from other teams. But [Rodrigo’s] name is on the table of the coaches,” he said.
“And a replacement will arrive. I do not know whether it will be from Barcelona B or from outside [the club]. I like many players.”
As confirmed by COPE Valencia, Rodrigo did not take part in Valencia training on Monday, suggesting talks are at an advanced stage.
The deal is thought to be worth around €60m, which could be paid immediately or as an obligation after a six-month loan, but one of the main points still being discussed is whether Barcelona could negotiate a discount by offering some players in exchange.
It was initially thought that Valencia had rejected the chance to sign striker Abel Ruiz or right-back Moussa Wagué, but Mundo Deportivo now state that they have in fact agreed to sign Wagué.
The stumbling block is the two sides’ respective valuations of Wagué. Barcelona feel he is worth more than Valencia do, so they are negotiating a discount which Los Che are hesitant to accept.
However, Valencia are eager to sign a new right-back this month. Wagué is seen as a good addition, but Spanish journalist Héctor Gómez notes that former Valencia man Nélson Semedo could also be included.
There is a confidence that Semedo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, will be able to negotiate this deal, but it appears as though Wagué has been identified as a likely alternative