Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has informed his Valencia counterpart Amadeo Salvo to expect an offer for Jeremy Mathieu.
AS reports that the clubs were in contact over the France international last week and Barca are now preparing to make a formal approach for Mathieu.
Barca Coach Luis Enrique is said to feel Mathieu would be a good fit for his vision of La Blaugrana and wants the club to do whatever it takes to get the defender on board.
But Valencia will not sell their captain for less than his stipulated release fee – some €20m plus tax and Barca would like to try and lower the cost.
Valencia are also said to hold little interest in a player-plus-cash swap deal and their stance could be strengthened by Peter Lim’s takeover of the club, which would change Los Che’s financial situation.
Mathieu has already rejected an approach from Bayern Munich as he was reluctant to leave Spain but could be open to switching to Camp Nou.
He is said to be equally happy to remain at Mestalla and is proud of his role at the club, but wants to see Valencia make progress. Should the clubs agree a deal, Mathieu may well go along with the transfer.