Barcelona have reportedly revived their interest in cutting a deal to sign Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, having seen their bid for his services rejected last year.
According to Rafa Sahuquillo of Spanish newspaper Marca, the Catalan giants are looking to sign the Germany international with a view to loaning him back to Bayern until June 2016.
This would of course be intended as a sort of ploy to circumvent the transfer ban placed on Barcelona until January of next year, but finding a way around FIFA's embargo will be tremendously tough, if not impossible.
Since moving to the Allianz Arena, Boateng has grown to become a key star for both Bayern and a Germany team that triumphed at last year's World Cup. Bleacher Report's Cristian Nyari provided quotes from Der FCB boss Pep Guardiola, hailing the talents of his central totem:
Boateng has been one of the more consistent members in Bayern's defence in recent seasons, partnering the likes of Holger Badstuber, Mehdi Benatia and Dante for different patches, each with great degrees of success.
Barca will look to make the 26-year-old the gem of their back line, despite signing Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen from Valencia and Arsenal, respectively, last year.
Mathieu has given Luis Enrique's side a significant boost this term, but an injury-ravaged campaign has meant Vermaelen is still yet to make his La Liga debut.
Sahuquillo's report mentions Barcelona offered €35 million for Boateng last summer, but they were rebuffed in their advances, with the World Cup winner quoted as saying last March: "When a club such as Barcelona is interested in you, it is a great honour. However, I didn't really look at the details. Today, there's no need to leave Bayern if you want to win the Champions League."
Having moved to Munich for just €13.5 million in 2011, Boateng's price tag has risen tremendously in recent years and deservedly so considering the evolution he's undergone.
Barcelona appear to be hoping that upward trajectory will continue in the years to come and are already seeking ways to improve their resources in time for when their transfer ban expires.