Barcelona president Joan Laporta has cooled suggestions that his side could sign Erling Haaland this summer, with a report in Spain suggesting he could move for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah instead.
Haaland is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer and he is likely to choose between Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City as his final destination.
Speaking to TV3 recently, Laporta attempted to cool talk of a possible move to Camp Nou for Haaland.
"We're working on the future of the squad," he said. "Both [director of football] Mateu Alemany and [advisor] Jordi Cruyff are also looking for a certain rationality.
"We are here to manage a football club well. We are in a period that, although we are improving economically, it has not yet been solved. The economic situation has not been reversed and that is the priority.
"It is clear that we want an increasingly powerful team. We will go all out, but we will not do any operation that puts the institution at risk."
That being said, Alemany quickly came out and played down Laporta's comments.
“This is not the time to rule out signings for next season. We work in maximum silence," Alemany explained. "Laporta's comments were only a result of insistence from the media."
Sources have confirmed to 90min that Barcelona remain hopeful of getting a deal for Haaland over the line, but there are concerns that others suitors are willing to pay a higher price and part with a bigger up-front sum to beat Barcelona to his signature.
Now, AS state that Salah is Laporta's preferred alternative if they cannot land Haaland and talks have already been held with the Egyptian's entourage about a possible exit from Liverpool.
Salah, who has never shied away from flirting with a switch to La Liga, is currently in a contract stand-off with Liverpool and the suggestion is that Barcelona have had positive signs from his agent that a transfer could be on.
It is understood that Salah would prefer to stay at Liverpool but is open to moving elsewhere if their contract offer isn't right, and Barcelona are keen to take advantage of that uncertainty.