It looks as though Barcelona have found, and signed, their much desired backup to the best attacking trio in the world.
The Catalan giants have reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla to sign striker Kevin Gameiro on a permanent deal, Barça Blaugranes has learned. The Frenchman will arrive this summer at the opening of the transfer window and sign a four-year contract with the Blaugrana.
Gameiro has been linked with Barça for a while, but the interest from the club has intensified in the last few months when the first option transfer, Celta Vigo winger Nolito, did not work. Sporting director Robert Fernández and his team then shifted their priority to Sevilla's highest scorer this season, and the two clubs have been working out on a deal for months, according to sources.
Sevilla first asked for a €30 million transfer fee, which the Catalans attempted to bring down in further negotiations. The Rojiblancos did not lower their asking price, and that is when Barça threw in a player in return: Croatian prospect Alen Halilovic, currently on loan at Sporting Gijón, along with a €20 million fee. Sevilla accepted, and if the deal goes through, the 19-year-old midfielder will sign a permanent contract, but Barça will keep a buy-back clause of around €10 million to bring Halilovic back to Camp Nou after the first year of his new deal.
When the two teams finally reached an agreement, it was time to convince the player. Gameiro has exploded this season, scoring 24 goals in 47 appearances and catching attention from other European giants. The Frenchman would need to accept a very limited amount of minutes with Barça since he is going to serve as a backup to the 'MSN' trio. Because of his speed and ability to play in all three positions of the attack, his chances of playing more often increase, and he could have a similar role as Pedro Rodríguez had in his final year as a Blaugrana.
Gameiro has also accepted the conditions, and is keen on moving to Catalonia at season's end. Unless something crazy happens, Barcelona have secured their first signing for the 2016/17 season.
What do you think, Blaugranes? Like the signing, the price, the potential fit in the team?