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The negotiations between Barcelona and Valencia for striker Rodrigo are on the verge of collapse, sources close to the Catalan club have told ESPN.
The talks between the La Liga sides intensified on Tuesday in a complicated deal that would have also involved the transfer of Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
In that scenario, Barcelona would have signed Portugual international Fernandes and loaned him to Valencia for the rest of the season, with Rodrigo then arriving from the Mestalla to Camp Nou.
The deal — orchestrated by agent Jorge Mendes — now seems impossible after sources told ESPN that Manchester United later reached a breakthrough for Fernandes.
United are set to seal a deal worth an initial £46.6 million for Fernandes with another £8.5m in add-ons if certain targets are met, including Champions League qualifications and appearances. The deal would also include another £12.7m in add-on relating to individual achievements by the player.
According to sources, Barcelona have decided to pull out of any Rodrigo deal due to the high demands placed by Valencia.
Spanish champions Barca have been scouring the market for a striker since Luis Suarez was ruled out for four months after the Spanish Supercopa. ESPN revealed last week that along with Rodrigo, Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a top target.
Barcelona’s attack roster includes Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati and Dembele, who has returned to training this week following a hamstring problem, as the club continue compete on three fronts this season.