Barcelona still have concerns over the long-term fitness of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who remains a target for Premier League champions Manchester United, despite conducting a medical examination of the Germany international last week.
Dr Richard Pruna, Barcelona's club doctor, is believed to have monitored Gundogan's progress during a private meeting with the player in Germany. The Dortmund star, who played a key role in the club's run to last season's Champions League final, has not played since August after suffering a mysterious back injury.
But even though concerns still persist over Gundogan's back problem, Barcelona have not given up hope of signing the classy central midfielder as a long-term replacement for Xavi this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and his fellow backroom staff, however, will not commit to any deal unless it is totally guaranteed that Gundogan has recovered from the injury and won't suffer a relapse in the future.
The Gelsenkirchen-born midfielder, who has scored two goals in eight appearances for the Germany national team, has one year left on his current contract at Signal Iduna Park and is reportedly open to the idea of leaving the Bundesliga outfit.
Manchester United remain keen, while Real Madrid have also been linked, but it seems Barcelona are currently the most determined of the trio to land the player's services.
But will his ongoing back problem scupper a dream move to the Camp Nou?