Barcelona discussing Alexis Sanchez return
Barcelona are discussing a deal to bring Inter forward Alexis Sanchez back to the club, with striker Luuk de Jong heading in the opposite direction.
De Jong is currently on a season-long loan from Sevilla which was signed off by former boss Ronald Koeman, but the Dutch striker has been out of favour under Xavi and discussions have been held over cutting his loan short.
Sevilla do not want De Jong back, so Barcelona have been getting creative and Sport claim that they have struck a deal which would see him spend the remainder of the season on loan with Inter.
As part of the deal, Inter have agreed to send Sanchez back to Barcelona on a six-month loan, and all that is missing on this one is the approval of manager Xavi.
Xavi wants to sign a new striker but also wants any new forward to be comfortable out on the wing, with Memphis Depay likely to occupy the central role upon his return from injury, and Sanchez fits the bill.
Now 32, the Chilean has been exclusively used as a backup striker by Inter this season, starting just twice in Serie A so far, but he made his name on the wing and it was out wide that he impressed during his first spell with Barcelona.
Between 2011 and 2014, Sanchez racked up 46 goals and 41 assists in 141 games for the Blaugrana, with Xavi playing behind him in midfield during that spell.
Xavi still has to approve the deal, and it is believed that he could wait to see whether Barcelona land Ferran Torres from Manchester City before doing so – 90min understands that a deal is close to being agreed for the Spain international.
Finding a new striker became even more important for Barcelona on Wednesday following the surprise retirement of Sergio Aguero, who has been diagnosed with a heart condition and encouraged to hang up his boots.
That leaves Barcelona with just De Jong and the injured duo of Memphis and Martin Braithwaite as natural strikers in the squad, and Xavi is keen to bolster in that department.
Alongside Sanchez, there is also interest in Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who faces an uncertain future following his removal as club captain, but there is an acceptance that signing him will not be as easy as bringing Sanchez back to Camp Nou.