Report: Barcelona to target Monaco defender Fabinho even if Daniel Alves staysMonaco's Fabinho (L) challenges Juventus' Patrice Evra during their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match at Stade Louis II on 22nd April, 2015
Barcelona are set to target Monaco defender Fabinho, regardless of whether Daniel Alves stays, according to reports.
Daily sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo, as cited by website Football Espana, claims that the Catalan giants are ready to step up their interest in the 21 year-old, following extensive scouting by former Barça midfielder Deco and Director of Football Ariedo Braida.
Fabinho, who is currently on loan at Monaco from Rio Ave, was originally believed to be seen a possible replacement for Daniel Alves.
The Brazil international - capped 79 times - is out of contract in June and has been strongly linked with the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
Negotiations over a renewal have yet to reach a satisfactory conclusion and with Barcelona unsure whether Alves will remain, Fabinho had been lined up.
Now however, that stance has changed and Mundo Deportivo believes Fabinho will be pursued even if Alves signs a new contract.
The youngster would be a natural heir to the former Sevilla full-back and could learn from him before eventually taking his role.
An obvious stumbling block in any deal for Fabinho is that Barcelona are operating under a transfer ban until January 2016.
They could, in theory, do a deal for him now and then register his contract when they are allowed, but if Alves does decide to move on, then they will only have squad players Adriano, Douglas and Martín Montoya as cover.
Another potential issue is Fabinho’s valuation. The Campinas native, who has made 49 appearances in all competitions for Monaco this season, is said to be priced at around €30 million - a fee Barcelona are unlikely to match.