Barcelona are believed to be pondering a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente, as they look to secure a backup Luis Suárez – the only striker currently in the first team squad.
After selling youngster Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla, the Valverde now has very limited options to lead the line, with Suárez the only recognised striker left in the first team squad. With the side still involved in three competitions, Valverde will be keen to secure a backup option, to ensure that the Argentinean ace doesn’t burn out before the end of the season.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Llorente has emerged as a surprise target for Barça in the January transfer window. The veteran forward’s contract expires at the end of the season, which should make the player an affordable option. The report suggests that the 33-year-old may prefer a move back to his former club Athletic Bilbao, but it is unclear whether they too desire a reunion.
Alternatively, same publication have touted Eintracht Frankfurt starlet Luka Jović as another possible option. The 21-year-old has excelled for his side this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions. However, it is claimed that his side are unlikely to let him go in January, and may instead be pursued at the end of the season.
Valverde has publicly addressed the need to sign a new striker (via Marca), stating: “We have to evaluate it. It is clear there is space following the departure of Munir, and the injury to Rafinha, who we could have used in a more advanced role. The window is open so we will see if we can bring somebody in.
“We must take economic factors into account. If not, we will have to promote a B-team player.”
In other news, Chelsea are believed to have made an enquiry for Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot, amid Barcelona’s drawn out pursuit of the Frenchman. The Blues are believed to have identified the 23-year-old as a suitable successor to recently departed Cesc Fàbregas, and could prise the midfielder from Barça’s grasp should a deal not be swiftly concluded.