Adelaide United are interested in signing Granada striker Sergi Guardiola as a marquee player, according to reports.
The Hyundai A-League champions have been in discussions with Guardiola – who is no relation to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – for the past fortnight.
But Goal Spain – who broke the story on Thursday – understands that the deal is close to complete, with only some small differences in salary expectations preventing its completion.
It’s understood that Adelaide have also lined up David Rodriguez as a back-up if the Guardiola deal falls through.
Rodriguez plays for Alcorcon in Spain’s second tier – the Segunda Division.
Adelaide have been looking to sign a marquee striker throughout the pre-season as the Reds have lost their top two scorers from their double-winning season – Bruce Djite and Pablo Sanchez (both 11 goals).
Sanchez was released by Adelaide at the end of last term and has since joined Llagostera in Spain’s Segunda B – the third tier – and Djite moved to K League club Suwon FC in July.
Guardiola made one appearance for Granada in La Liga this season, putting in a full shift in the opening round against Villarreal in what was his debut in Spain’s top tier.
The 25-year-old scored eight goals in 19 matches for Granada II in Segunda B last campaign, while the best season of his career also came in the Spanish third division when he scored 17 goals in 39 games for Eldense in 2014-15.
In 2015, Guardiola was infamously signed by Barcelona but lasted just a few hours before being sacked for offensive anti-Catalan tweets he made in 2013.
Adelaide’s secondary option – Rodriguez – has scored 40 goals in 87 matches for Alcorcon, since joining the Madrid-based club from Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of the 2014-15 season.
Rodriguez, 30, has previously played in La Liga for Celta Vigo and Almeria.