Barcelona are confident they can conclude a deal for Real Betis wing-back Junior Firpo in the coming weeks, report Diario AS.
It is claimed by the report that Ernesto Valverde is driving the interest in the player, with Barcelona willing to pay €20m for the player – although that is well below the valuation of Betis.
The Dominican-born defender only made his first-team debut at Los Verdiblancos in early 2018 but has now established himself as a regular starter, making 43 appearances.
The fresh report follows one by Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio outlining how the Catalan giants ‘are getting closer’ to a deal for the highly-rated left-sided player.
Diario Sport say that should their pursuit of Junior prove unsuccessful, their ‘Plan B’ is Augsburg defender Philipp Max.
However, Junior may prove a complicated signing due to his €50m release clause in Seville and has a long-term deal at the club until the summer of 2023, having penned a fresh contract last year.
The 22-year-old endured a disrupted second half of the campaign due to a number of muscular injuries including thigh and hamstring pulls.
Betis full-back Emerson – who provides cover for Junior – is currently on loan from Barcelona until 2021 at least, with both clubs helping the Brazilian move to Spanish football in January, while Alfonso Pedraza has arrived from Villarreal.
Liverpool have been among the clubs linked to Spain Under-21 international Junior this year.