Barcelona have lined up a move for Bernardo Silva if they fail to land key transfer target Philippe Coutinho in the January window.
La Blaugrana are preparing to make a fresh attempt to prise the Liverpool star away from Anfield in the winter window, but the Spanish press have installed Manchester City new boy Silva as an alternative replacement if Barca are unsuccessful in their new pursuit of Coutinho.
Diario Gol has claimed that Silva will become Barcelona's new target, and their hopes of signing the Portugal international could be helped by his inability to break into Pep Guardiola's starting lineup.
Indeed, Silva has been unable to force his way past the likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane for a regular spot in City's first choice XI and, coupled with his supposed inability to settle into the English way of life, could be offered a reprieve by joining Barcelona.
City would likely want to recoup as much of the £42m they spent prising Silva away from Monaco in the summer, but Guardiola's admiration for the 23-year-old forward's talents could scupper any chances of Barca landing their plan B target.
The Catalan giants are said to have eyed Silva as Lionel Messi's long-term replacement as the 30-year-old club legend continues to stall on signing a new contract.
Messi refused to entertain questions asking why he had not put pen to paper on the new contract, which would tie him down until June 2021, as he picked up his fourth European Golden Boot award on Friday.
Messi's father Jorge is alleged to have signed three pieces of paperwork to accept Barca's proposals, but the Argentina international himself is yet to officially confirm that the deal is one he is happy with.
Barcelona have also been linked with swoops for Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil, Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen and Monaco star Thomas Lemar as they look for new attacking options to spearhead their charge for the Spanish top flight title.