City have been talks with Velez for some months about a deal for Almada, who has been likened to Barca star Leo Messi.
And negotiations are so advanced that City have discussed placing the youngster at LaLiga sister club Girona next season.
However the deal isn't yet settled and Mundo Deportivo says Barca are now making their move.
Like City, Barca are willing to meet Velez's €25m valuation and the presence of Messi could be a key factor in the 17 year-old's thinking.
Despite his youth, Almada has played 17 first team games for Velez this season.