Barcelona have identified the Liverpool goalkeeper José Reina as first choice to replace Víctor Valdés this summer should their long-serving No1 leave the Camp Nou.

Reina, who is under contract at Liverpool until 2016 but began his career with Barcelona, has been repeatedly linked with a return to his former club this season and monitored several times by scouts from the Spanish club.

Reports in Spain over the weekend claimed that Reina has agreed in principle to the move and a fee has been discussed with Liverpool. That is premature, with the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers keen to retain the 30-year-old who has adapted well to his playing style after a difficult start. Reina too has recently stated that he expects to be at Anfield next season.

Barcelona's interest is genuine, however, and they are expected to make a formal move for their former keeper should Valdés secure a move from the Spanish champions elect. Valdés has announced he will not extend his contract when it expires in 2014 and may leave this summer, creating a vacancy that Barcelona hope Reina will agree to fill.