Barcelona are in talks to bring Ezequiel Garay to Camp Nou from Racing Santander.
Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool and Tottenham were all reportedly keen on the 21-year-old centre-back, but Barcelona have emerged in pole position to secure the player's signature.
Santander have confirmed that talks are under way with Barca, after reports that intense negotiations have been going on behind the scenes for several weeks.
Marca claims that Barca have agreed to pay an instalment of €4.75million (£3.6million) now, with the same amount to be paid in the summer and then in December.
Frank Rijkaard already has four central defenders at his disposal, but it is believed that one, if not more, could leave at the end of the current season with Lilian Thuram the first to go.
Santander president Francisco Pernia told Marca: "Barcelona are interested in Ezequiel Garay and Racing are speaking with Barcelona.
"I would be surprised if he went to any other team than Barcelona from July.
"(Barca) are very well positioned and are in pole position."