Barcelona have reportedly stepped up their scouting of Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita with a view to making a move in the summer.
La Blaugrana are in the market for a goalkeeper this summer or next to replace Victor Valdes, who has confirmed that he will not be renewing his contract at the Camp Nou beyond its June 2014 expiry.
Superdeporte believe that Barca have plumped for Los Che’s Guaita as their No 1 replacement, with technical secretary Narcis Julia spotted at Mestalla at the weekend, apparently specifically to watch the 26-year-old.
It is understood that sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and Julia decided in New York in a February meeting with Coach Tito Vilanova - in America for chemotherapy - that Barca would go for a Spanish national to replace Valdes and that it was between Guaita and David de Gea.
With De Gea seen as an expensive option and one that may prove hard to sign from Manchester United, due to a long term contract signed, the Catalans are seen as seriously considering Guaita.
Julia spoke with Los Che’s sporting director Braulio Vazquez after the weekend game at Mestalla, prompting further rumours. Julia is seen as Zubizarreta’s right-hand man and someone sent to scout players and offer a final advice to the Barca sporting director on whether or not to make a move.
Valencia’s former President Manuel Llorente had reportedly made clear in February that Guaita and Roberto Soldado were the only ‘untouchable’ members of the squad going into 2013-14, but his resignation last week is seen as a chance that a new direction may be taken.