Barcelona are in talks to sign Germany forward Mario Gomez, according to Goal.
The 31-year-old kick-started his career last season on loan at Besiktas after struggling to settle in Italy with Fiorentina, scoring 26 league goals to help the Turkish club to their first domestic title in seven years.
The former Bayern Munich forward is now in high demand after returning to Joachim Low’s national squad after a year out of the limelight, scoring twice in Germany’s run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
And La Liga champions Barcelona have emerged as surprise frontrunners to sign Gomez, with Borussia Dortmund also keen to bring the forward to the Signal Iduna Park.
Last month, Gomez, who scored 29 goals in 68 internationals, confirmed he will not be extending his stay in the Super Lig due to the political instability ongoing in Turkey.
“Our fans are feel hopeful about Mario Gomez returning,” said Besiktas spokesman Metin Albayrak, as reported by Goal.
“We're monitoring his situation closely but we know that he is in serious talks with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. Obviously he is difficult for us.”
However, Albayrak played down reports that West Ham United were keen for Gomez to headline their increasingly impressive forward line ahead of in their new era at the Olympic Stadium, claiming manager Slaven Bilic told him personally he had no interest in rivalling the Catalan giants for the German’s signature.
Yet, Fiorentina are understood to be ready to cut their losses on a striker they paid 20 million euros for just two summers ago, injuries restricting him to just 16 Serie A appearences and four goals.
And Gomez would undoubtedly appeal to the Camp Nou hierarchy, with the club increasingly determined to add an affordable, alternative centre forward to their ranks before the transfer window shuts next month.
However, Gomez does not appear to fit the specificaions coach Luis Enrique (below) is looking for, having missed out on Kevin Gameiro and Luciano Vietto already this summer.
“We’re looking for a pure striker, with more chances of scoring, who is in the penalty area more, and is fast,” Enrique told Mundo Deportivo last month, as reported by Football Espana.
Gomez, although an experienced, proven poacher, lacks the pace the treble-winning coach desires.
Another option, however, could be Deportivo’s Lucas Perez, a direct, rambunctious forward in the Jamie Vardy mould.
Sport claimed the 27-year-old (below), scorer of 17 league goals last season, is said to be keen on a move to the Camp Nou, with Depor president Tino Fernandez admitting that the striker is free to leave if a club triggers his 20 million euro release clause.