Barcelona are prepared to sell left-back Jordi Alba this summer, and have already lined up his replacement in Atletico Madrid left-back Theo Hernandez, according to reports in Madrid.
Spanish sports dailies AS and Marca both report that the Nou Camp club's sporting director, Robert Fernandez, is willing to sell the 28-year-old Chelsea target Alba before his value starts to depreciate.
The left-back, who has been one of the finest players in the world at his position over recent years and was included in Fifa's World XI again this season, is reportedly not considered "indispensable" by the Barca hierarchy who are ready to replace him with bargain teenager Hernandez.
Theo, who is on loan at Alavés from Atletico and will play against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, has had a stunning breakout season in La Liga and is attracting interest from Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
The 19-year-old has a release clause in his contract of just €24million (£20.6m) - a fee that most top clubs would consider a snip for one of Europe's most talented young defenders.
Marca claimed earlier this month that Real Madrid had agreed terms with the full-back and were ready to offer the required amount to trigger his departure, but Barcelona's interest could change the landscape.
Manuel Garcia Quillón, the left-back's agent, would prefer his client to move to the Nou Camp. This would also please Atletico, who don't want to lose promising players to their cross-town rivals.
One thing is for sure, if Barcelona are willing to let a player of the calibre of Jordi Alba walk out the door then they must be completely enamoured by the young Frenchman's talent.
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