Barcelona are reported to have found a successor to Victor Valdes in Borussia Monchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, as German outlet Bild and radio station "RKB" reveal, via Inside Spanish Football.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 11:00 a.m. GMT
We have not been approached by any club. It is a fact. We are in contract talks, and we are optimistic that Marc will continue to play for us beyond this season since the talks have been very positive so far.
---End of Update---
The German international has reportedly signed a pre-contract agreement for a fee that could rise to €10 million, according to Inside Spanish Football.
Sports director Zubizarreta travelled yesterday to Germany to finalize the last details of the transfer of Gladbach keeper Ter Stegen. [md]— barcastuff (@barcastuff) October 29, 2013
With Valdes out of contract this summer and unwilling to extend his stay at the Camp Nou, per Graeme Yorke of the Mail Online, the Catalan side have been on the lookout for a new No. 1 for some time.
That search has attributed them a whole host of speculation, including rumoured interest in Thibault Courtois, Fraser Forster and Pepe Reina, according to Jack de Menezes in The Independent.
Who is the better choice for Barcelona?
If news of ter Stegen's move is proven accurate, it will come as a substantial blow to Arsenal, who reportedly made a last-minute attempt to prise him away from Barcelona, per Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.
The Gunners were hoping their squad's increasing German influence could sway ter Stegen, yet it seems Barcelona have prevailed.
Wojciech Szczesny has yet to show prolonged consistency for Arsene Wenger's side and could do with some improved competition, although his form this season has been some of his best.
Ter Stegen has impressed in the Bundesliga, already accumulating nearly 100 starts for his club. He has three caps for Germany and seems capable of eventually surpassing Manuel Neuer as first-choice goalkeeper for his country.
Ter Stegen is prob the best of a golden gen of German GKs to emerge in the last 3 yrs. Barca may be getting Neuer's long-term NT replacement— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) October 28, 2013
His recent heroics in Monchengladbach's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, in which he made a series of impressive saves, underline his star pedigree.
Dortmund registered a colossal 27 shots during the match, according to WhoScored, but ter Stegen still emerged with a clean sheet intact.
He will clearly require new levels of concentration if he joins Barcelona—likely to be out of the game for lengthy periods—while the saves he makes will be far more scrutinised than any of his current work.
However, ter Stegen possesses a fine temperament and has only impressed since making his debut in 2011. Still only 21, his potential is limitless.
There currently seems a rise in the amount of young goalkeepers capable of excelling at top clubs. Several prominent European sides have a youthful presence in goal, and if ter Stegen is indeed on his way to the Camp Nou, Barcelona may have acquired the best.