Barcelona will go head-to-head with Tottenham and Manchester City to sign Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente.
Llorente, who has one year left on his existing deal, stunned Athletic Bilbao earlier this week when he revealed that he would not be extending his contract at the Basque club.
Tottenham and Juventus have since registered their interest in Llorente, but with the Spain international available on a free next summer both are reluctant to offer more than £15.8m - £12.6m short of his release clause fee.
However, according to Spanish newspaper El Economista, Barcelona are prepared to wait for Llorente to see out his final year at Athletic and then snap him up on a free transfer next summer.
New coach Tito Vilanova is keen to sign a ‘classic’ centre-forward, and believes Llorente, who has previously expressed his admiration for the Catalan side, will give his team an extra dimension.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is still in the market for a new striker this summer and could consider making an offer for Llorente, who he has monitored for the past year, while new Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is desperate for a new attacker, given that Jermain Defoe is only the recognised forward in his squad.