Barcelona Transfer News: Andre-Pierre Gignac and Mario Mandzukic Rumours Emerge

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 1, 2016

Andre Gignac of Mexico's Tigres celebrates an own goal by Brazil's Internacional during a Copa Libertadores semifinal soccer game in Monterrey, Mexico, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

Barcelona are reportedly stepping up their search for a fourth striker, with speculation linking Tigres UANL star Andre-Pierre Gignac and Juventus frontman Mario Mandzukic with the Catalan giants.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivotechnical secretary Robert Fernandez is in Mexico for negotiations with "targets in the region," and Gignac is believed to be among that number (h/t Football Espana).

Gignac was part of France's Euro 2016 squad.
Gignac was part of France's Euro 2016 squad.Martin Meissner/Associated Press

The Spanish daily also cited Juve ace Mandzukic as being part of Fernandez's recruitment drive, saying Barca are willing to offer €10 million (£8.5 million) in order to land the Croatia international (h/t Calciomercato.com).

News of Barca's interest in Gignac comes during a summer when Europe's top strikers are being valued higher than ever, and Match of the Day magazine reporter Andy Ha noted the state of the transfer market:

It's said Barcelona figurehead Fernandez has been in talks with Gignac and his representatives to find out his availability, and the discussions are understood to have been positive.

The France international has been in prolific form since moving to Liga MX from Olympique de Marseille in June 2015, scoring 28 goals in 33 league appearances for Tigres.

Gignac appears to have carried that form into the 2016-17 campaign, opening his account with this stunner in Sunday's 3-0 victory over Club America, as shared by Tigres' official Twitter account:

Barcelona's MSN trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar has been devastating in its two-year history, but a distinct lack of depth was apparent when members of the trio were injured last season.

Tigres most likely wouldn't take too kindly to the Catalans' pursuit of their star frontman, and Juve may not be eager to lose Mandzukic after being forced to sell Alvaro Morata back to Real Madrid earlier this summer.

Mandzukic moved to Juventus in 2015.
Mandzukic moved to Juventus in 2015.Daniel Dal Zennaro/Associated Press

The 30-year-old scored 13 goals in 36 appearances for the Bianconeri last season and kept Morata on the bench for the most part as he formed a strike partnership with Paulo Dybala.

The Serie A titleholders may be more open to selling the Croat after signing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, however. Journalist David Amoyal suggested the Blaugrana would be getting a valuable recruit:

Both Gignac and Mandzukic would offer a completely different dynamic to the MSN, standing at around 6'1" and 6'3" respectively and regarded more for their hold-up play.

That being said, manager Luis Enrique may be keen to bring in new faces who could provide a change in direction when required, as the search for back-up to his starting strike force advances.

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