Spanish website AS has suggested Jeremy Mathieu and Valencia have agreed a deadline of Tuesday for the left-back to try and complete a move to Barcelona.
The Nou Camp side have been in pole position to sign the experienced Frenchman over the last couple of weeks, with Tottenham Hotspur’s interested mentioned earlier this summer.
“A meeting yesterday morning between Jérémy Mathieu, Valencia general manager Rufete, and manager Nuno served to close out a pact; the versatile defender will wait until Tuesday before seeing if he continues as skipper,” reports AS.
“If Barça don't come back with an improved offer the player will go with Los Ché on tour to Chile and Peru.”
Valencia are thought to be holding out for a fee of around €15 million so it would be surprising if Barca don’t make another offer and if they don’t that plays right into Tottenham’s hands.
If spurs went up against Barcelona in a direct bidding war, they could be competitive financially but they would lose out in terms of not being able to offer Champions League football.
However, should Barca not return with a €15 million offer, Tottenham could start their own negotiations if Mathieu is a player that Mauricio Pochettino likes.
There is a chance Spurs won’t bid at all considering reports over a deal being agreed for Swansea City left-back Ben Davies.
If Davies signs, any deal for Mathieu would surely see him come into the middle of defence, but that in itself gives Pochettino a problem.
It creates a problem because Mathieu would play on the left hand side of central defence, where Jan Vertonghen prefers to play and the boss has already made it clear that he wants his Belgian to be a key part of the back four this season.
On the one hand, Mathieu represents several positives for Spurs and they could get a free crack at signing him but on the other hand, they’re creating a defence which doesn’t have a place for him.