Barcelona are making Luka Jovic No 1 target this summer… but Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is next in line for Nou Camp move
- Barcelona have made Frankfurt’s on-loan striker Luka Jovic their No 1 target
- The Catalan giants have also been linked with a move for Marcus Rashford
- The club are looking for 32-year-old Luis Suarez’s long-term replacement
- Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann is also being touted as a possible target
Barcelona have pinpointed Rashford as a possible alternative if they lose out on Jovic in what they fear is fast turning into an auction for the 21-year-old Serbian forward.
With that concern in mind Barcelona’s sporting director Eric Abidal was in Portugal on Monday night for the Portugal v Serbia Euro 2020 qualifier.
Barcelona have made Frankfurt’s on-loan striker Luka Jovic their No 1 summer transfer target
The Catalan giants have also been linked with Manchester United star Marcus Rashford
The Benfica-owned striker did not come off the bench but, more than a ‘spying mission’, the trip was an opportunity for Barcelona to make their interest in the player clear and to speak to face-to-face with his representatives.
They have already reached the conclusion they have seen enough of Jovic having watched him on a regular basis in the last few seasons.
Barcelona sent a three-man party to Milan this month to watch him in action in the Europa League for Eintracht Frankfurt.
Abidal came away from that game convinced he can be the long-term replacement for 32-year-old Luis Suarez.
Frankfurt’s Serbian forward has netted 22 goals in 36 appearances all competitions this season
Barcelona’s chief scout for the Bundesliga, Goran Vucevic, has been watching the player since he broke through at Red Star Belgrade three years ago and the club believe a £50million offer this summer will secure his services.
El Mundo Deportivo reported that Rashford is a target for Barcelona
But that concern about the player’s price rising between now and the end of the season remains.
While it seemed they were stealing a march on Europe’s other big clubs last year, there is now a crowded field in pursuit of a player who has 15 goals in 18 starts in Germany.
El Mundo Deportivo reported on Tuesday that Bayern Munich have already tabled a bid for the player.
He is also on Jurgen Klopp’s radar should Liverpool be unable to keep Sadio Mane at the end of the season and Juventus are also looking to rejuvenate their highly effective but ageing attacking options.
Barcelona are looking for 32-year-old Luis Suarez’s long-term replacement
Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann is also being touted as a possible target
Barcelona do not want to be caught out in the summer if Jovic’s price continues to increase. They want to finalise the signing before then as they were able to do with Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
LUKA JOVIC STATS THIS SEASON
Frankfurt (all competitions)
If they do not sign Jovic then Rashford is high on their shortlist of alternatives providing he doesn’t sign an extension to his current deal that runs out in 2020.
Barcelona want a forward who could play in any of the front three positions but who would ultimately replace Suarez. Rashford, like Jovic, would fit that profile.
The club are also looking for a player who will be happy not being a regular starter in his first season at the club.
They feel that secondary role would be easier for the more inexperienced Jovic to accept than Rashford.
Antoine Griezmann is the other name on the club’s agenda but he would cost £102m and they will only look to the Frenchman if Paris Saint-Germain make a bid in excess of £102m for Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele this summer.