Barcelona’s hopes of signing Marco Verratti rest on the midfielder forcing a move from Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports in Spain.
Chelsea are also hot on the heels of the Italy star, who is keen for a fresh challenge.
But after PSG reportedly demanded a huge £132million to let him go, Barca are running out of options.
Marca isnist the Catalans, who have already submitted an £88m bid, must now convince Verratti to put in a formal transfer request.
His agent claims the 21-cap international has already made his feeling clear to PSG.
Donato di Campli said: “Champions have to win titles. We’ll see if Marco leaves this summer, it’s very complicated, but we’ve already expressed our ideas to PSG.”
But whether Verratti, 24, is willing to up the ante and risk the wrath of fans by forcing an exit is another matter.
Barca are searching for a long-term succesor for Andres Iniesta, with Ivan Rakitic not looking likely to fill the club legend’s boots.
And have identified Verratti as the perfect fit but unfortunately their desire to make a deal is matched onlt by PSG’s refusal to sell.
Camp Now chiefs have offered him a contract worth £170,000-a-week — with bonuses on top — which is nearly treble his current package.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is still hopeful of bringing in his fellow ccountryman after missing out on him in 2012 while at Juventus.
But the Blues are caught between two of Europe’s most powerful clubs and may have to look elsewhere.