Is this Southampton striker on the Barcelona radar?

Barcelona are reportedly looking for a target-man in attack, with a lofty Southampton player amongst those considered.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar. The much feared 'MSN' that strikes fear into the hearts of defences in La Liga and around Europe in the Champions League. Barcelona can certainly boast one of the strongest attacking trios in world football.

How do you add to that and what options would provide something alternative, to throw into the mix? That is the question Barcelona are looking to address ahead of next season, with the sports directive at the Camp Nou and manager Luis Enrique, weighing up options when it comes to potential transfer targets.

Although finding a midfield replacement for Xavi Hernandez, who is set to depart for Qatar in the summer, remains the priority, according to Sport, Barcelona are also said to be looking for a target-man who can offer height, power and goals, as an option to unlock difficult games.

Renowned for their ability to control possession, or thread killer passes amongst their forwards to carve open defences, with the ball on the ground, it's sometimes acknowledged that what Barcelona do lack is an aerial presence. Not since Zlatan Ibrahimovic have they had someone who can truly make the most of high balls into the rival area.

Amongst those who may be considered for this target-man role is unsettled Juventus striker Fernando Llorente, who is well known amongst the Spanish internationals in the Barcelona squad, but also has interest from Valencia and, according to the Express, Tottenham Hotspur, who are keen to strengthen their attacking options.

Another option highlighted by Sport is Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, who could be available, but with Barcelona apparently dissuaded by what they perceive to be an astronomical salary he's currently earning at the Etihad. German striker Mario Gomez is also seen as a possibility.

The most interesting suggestion, however, is 29-year-old Graziano Pelle, who joined Southampton from Feyenoord last summer for a reported fee of £8 million. The towering Italian has impressed in the Premier League this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions and as far as Barcelona are concerned, he's done that in a country which is much more physically demanding, compared to Spain.

Pelle has certainly settled into his role with Southampton impressively. His form has also earned him calls to the Italy squad, scoring the only goal on his full international debut against Malta, whilst also featuring in the 1-1 draw against Croatia.

If the suggestions in the Spanish media are correct, Southampton may face a test of their resolve keeping Pelle at the St Mary's Stadium in the not too distant future, if Barcelona decide to come calling with an offer.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch