BARCELONA

Valencia fear Barcelona raid for Fabio Blanco and José Gayà

Among Barcelona president Joan Laporta's board is former Mestalla general director Mateu Alemany and the Camp Nou has a history of shopping in Valencia.

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Valencia fear Barcelona raid for Fabio Blanco and José Gayà
PEPE VILLOSLADA DIARIO AS

Barcelona are starting to put together a plan to shake up Ronald Koeman’s squad this summer and new Camp Nou president Joan Laporta seems set on dipping into a familiar pool of talent to spruce up the existing playing personnel at the Dutchman’s disposal by cherry-picking Valencia. Laporta has a key advantage over his Liga rivals in this department: Mateu Alemany. The former Mestalla general director has been installed as sporting director at Barça and Fabio Blanco and José Luis Gayà are at the top of his list for the summer.

Blanco, a 17-year-old winger, has been attracting interest from Real Madrid as well but Barcelona are confident of persuading him to leave Mestalla for Catalonia when his contract expires in June. Valencia captain Gayà has often been linked with a move to Barça as a long-term replacement for Jordi Alba, who made the move north in 2012 after a spell in the Barça youth ranks before making his name at Valencia.

Valencia and Barcelona's historic trade links

Among other players to have made the move from Valencia to Barcelona in recent memory are David Villa, Paco Alcácer and Andre Gomes, while Koeman spent a season at Mestalla in 2007-08, delivering the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona have already initiated a move for Blanco, who seems set on leaving Valencia this summer, while 25-year-old Gayà has two years left to run on his deal and would cost between €30m and €40m.