Internazionale are preparing to make a move for Deco this summer as a possible replacement for Luis Figo, according to reports in the Italian press.
As speculation mounts over the future of the Barça playmaker, the Nerazzurri are the latest club to be linked with him along with a number of Premiership clubs.
Chelsea are thought to have the upper hand as Deco could be tempted to work under José Mourinho again, but Inter have now also entered the frame.
A report in the Gazzetta dello Sport states that after being put off by Lionel Messi’s asking price, Massimo Moratti has turned his attention elsewhere.
Deco’s buy-out clause is around €75m, but the Blaugrana could well allow him to leave for €20m as he prepares to turn 30 in August.
Several of Frank Rijkaard’s star players have been linked with a move away from Camp Nou, but Barça vice president Ferrán Soriano moved to rebuff the stories this week.
Among the players that he claimed were set to stay were Ronaldinho, Messi and Deco, but with Frank Lampard being a viable replacement for the number 20 a sizeable offer maybe considered.
According to the Italian newspaper, Inter may well offer a player-exchange deal, but only offers the unlikely scenarion of Adriano or Walter Samuel as the players that could be allowed to leave.
While Deco is under contract at Barça until 2010, his efforts to secure a pay rise have fallen on deaf ears and that could see Chelsea jump to the front of the queue.
The Blues are keen to add some more guile to their midfield and Mourinho knows all too well the ability of the player that spearheaded Porto’s successful quest for the UEFA Cup and Champions League during his reign.
With Inter set to wrap up the Serie A title in the coming weeks, attention has now turned to next season and how best to bolster the squad.