Barcelona narrow striker shortlist down to three

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Barcelona are desperate to sign a new striker before the transfer window closes.

Despite boasting a frontline combination of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, Luis Enrique isn't content with his attacking options and would like another forward to support the deadly trio.

Top quality strikers are seemingly hard to find in Europe this summer so Barcelona's technical director Robert Fernandez has expanded his search to South America and returned with three primary targets.

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According to Marca, Fernandez is confident of securing the signature of at least one of Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Barbosa (Gabigol) and Lucas Lima.

Palmeiras' Jesus has been in advanced talks with Manchester City but the deal is yet to be announced and the Catalan hierarchy could still make a last minute attempt to persuade the 19-year-old away from the Etihad.

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Barcelona star Neymar has already been bending Jesus' ear by claiming the highly rated youngster would be 'very happy' at the Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, the potential deals for Gabigol and Lima, who both play for Santos, are far more likely.

Reports surfaced earlier this week to suggest an offer for Gabigol had been made by Juventus but as part of the deal to sign Neymar three years ago, the La Liga champions have first refusal on the forward.

While Jesus and Gabigol's careers are only just beginning, Lima should be reaching the peak of his powers.

Santos v Sao Paulo - Brasileirao Series A 2016

The 26-year-old can play on either wing or in behind the striker and has been at Santos since 2014.

Lima could well be the cheapest option of the three; his contract expires at the end of 2017 and even if he is merely considered a rotation option by Luis Enrique, the glitz and glamour of playing for Barcelona will be tough to turn down.

Barcelona's hunt for a forward has escalated since missing out on Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro, who officially joined La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid today in a deal which saw Lucas Vietto head in the other direction on loan.

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