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Report: Barcelona, Ajax close to agreement for Dutch goalkeeper

Now that came out of nowhere...

Ajax v Rostov: UEFA Champions League Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

You're waiting for Diego Alves to be announced as new Barcelona goalkeeper, aren't you? Well, you may be in for a surprise.

According to reports from Mundo Deportivo and The Telegraaf (Netherlands), Barça are closing in on the signing of 27-year-old Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, a longtime starting keeper for Ajax and the Dutch national team. The Blaugrana are set to pay a €12 million fee to secure the transfer, and Cillessen would sign a four-year contract.

Diego Alves' signing looked like a done deal, but over the last few hours there have been complications on the transfer given that Barça want to sign Valencia striker Paco Alcácer, and the Bats aren't prepared to let go of three key first team players after André Gomes signed for Barça a few weeks ago. Like Paco, Alves is a fan favorite, and if both leave the club, the Valencia board is worried about the reaction from the fans.

Also according to report, Alves was never the priority. Luis Enrique wants a goalkeeper that is good on the ball, since his buildup begins with the goalie. Cillessen comes from the Ajax academy, and like Barça, Ajax likes to keep possession and start plays from the goalkeeper. Barça scouts have given great reviews about Cillessen's abilities with the ball on his feet, and after the Alves deal stalled, Robert Fernández and his staff went all in on Cillessen.

Claudio Bravo will start in the La Liga match against Real Betis on Saturday, and is then expected to travel to England in order to complete his Manchester City deal. After that, Barça will announce a new keeper. And if the reports are accurate, that keeper will be Jasper Cillessen.

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