Barcelona are to prioritise a move for Celta Vigo star and former West Ham target Maxi Gomez in the summer due to his relationship with Uruguay teammate Luis Suarez, according to reports from Spain.
Gomez has been in excellent form for the La Liga side this season with nine goals and five assists in just 21 appearances in the league.
The 22-year-old's form has alerted Barcelona over a potential summer move, with Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claiming that Gomez's attributes fit the centre forward profile that they are looking for.
The report clams that following the end of the winter transfer window, Los Blaugrana officials had created a shortlist of names that included the likes of Gomez, Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic and Sevilla's Andre Silva.
Following the Celta Vigo striker's successful two years at the club, Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona have been impressed by the former Defensor Sporting's star adaptation to Spanish football.
Maxi Gomez: Only Cristhian Stuani (14) has scored more headed goals than @gomez_maxi9 (12) since the start of the 2017/18 La Liga season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 30, 2019
For more player stats -- https://t.co/Lu6pH5LtIP pic.twitter.com/FuRfWkyXnM
Added to his goalscoring record, Gomez's good relationship with national teammate and current Barcelona star Luis Suarez is also thought to be a factor in his favour, with the 22-year-old recently being given a tour of the Catalan giants' club by the ex-Liverpool striker.
Having made his professional debut for Defensor back in his native Uruguay in September 2015, Gomez earned a high-profile move to La Liga in the summer of 2017.
In his first season with the Celticos, the 22-year-old struck 17 times in 36 La Liga games, and earned his first international call-up against Poland later that year.
Gomez appeared set for a move to West Ham in the January window, with Manuel Pellegrini's side apparently willing to pay over £40m for the striker, amid concerns that Marko Arnautovic would leave the club. However, despite talks, Celta Vigo ultimately refused to sell Gomez in the midst of a relegation battle.