Barcelona have jumped to the front of the queue to sign David Villa as president Joan Laporta is set to offer Valencia a deal worth €50 million that is likely to be accepted, according to a report.
The Blaugrana are preparing the bid to give their treble-winning squad a new edge and to grab some of the headlines from Real Madrid, after Los Merengues pulled out of the race for the striker.
As well as €40 million in cash, Barcelona will loan Bojan Krkic and Martin Caceres to los Che so that the club will have at least a season with a top level striker.
The fee could rise too depending on Villa's performances and Barcelona's achievements next term as part of the deal will include clauses that can be activated by games, goals and trophies.
Laporta has one year left of his mandate before elections are held next term and he wants to leave a legacy at Camp Nou by ensuring that the team remain at the top of the game.
Villa is Spain's hottest property this summer and as Madrid turn their attention to Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan, Barca are preparing to move to secure Villa's services, Marca state.
Having criticised Real Madrid's big spending on Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, Laporta is lining up a credit crunch-busting move of his own and will give Valencia what they want.
With reports that Chelsea and Manchester United were interested in his services, Villa is reported to have told his agent only to talk to Real Madrid, but that did not mean he only wanted to go to the Bernabeu.
The message was that he wanted to remain in the Spanish league and as Los Merengues were the only team from home to bid for him, that was where Villa preferred to go.
Barcelona's interest however will have seen him widen his scope and as he stated during last season, joining up with the Camp Nou side could bring out the best in him.
Over the weekend, initial talks were held between Valencia and Barca, the Catalan club's sporting vice-president Rafael Yuste confirmed, and it was hinted that los Che would prefer to sell him to the Blaugrana.
Samuel Eto'o may not have to leave Camp Nou should Villa sign as both players would be asked to move across the front three and compete for spaces with Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry.
But it could well be that the Cameroonian is not keen on the competition and accepts one of the mega offers that he already has on the table from foreign clubs.
Lucas Brown, Goal.com