Barcelona claim they will sign Portugal’s playmaker Deco by the end of the week.
The Catalans will pay Deco’s club Porto £8.04m but their hopes of including winger Ricardo Quaresma as part of the deal, look unlikely.
Barca president Juan Laporta said: “We only have to tie up the final details of the agreement.
“I’m quite optimistic and believe that Deco will end up becoming a Barcelona player.”
Chelsea were favourites to sign the player but they appear to have pulled out of the race.