Barcelona target Cedric Bakambu has left Chinese side Beijing Guoan a month before the expiry of his contract.
Now 30, Bakambu was targeted by Barcelona during his time in Spain for Villarreal, with whom he bagged 31 goals in 76 La Liga games between 2015 and 2018.
Bakambu moved to Beijing in a £36m deal in January 2018 but has now bid farewell to the club a month before his contract was set to expire.
“We cherish your name in our hearts — Cedric Bakambu. Hope you never forget,” the club wrote on their Webbo page.
Now a free agent, Bakambu is expected to be back on Barcelona‘s radar for the January transfer window.
He was identified as one of three potential signings for new manager Xavi last month, with president Joan Laporta desperate to bolster in attack following a series of injuries and health issues for his current crop of forwards.
Martin Braithwaite suffered a nasty knee injury which could keep him out for the next few months, while Sergio Aguero remains sidelined with a heart problem which was rumoured to have forced him to retire early.
Memphis Depay has been Xavi’s only option in attack, with loanee Luuk de Jong remaining glued to the bench. The towering Dutchman has been tipped to return to his parent side in January.
With Bakambu now available, Barcelona are likely to reignite their pursuit. He bagged 58 goals in 87 games during his time in China, contributing an impressive 21 assists as well.
Barcelona are looking to save some money for their pursuits of a number of Premier League players, with Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech also on the shortlist alongside Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres.