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After reports emerged that Arsenal are ready to let Mesut Ozil leave in the January transfer window, Barcelona are now targeting the German playmaker as an alternative to Philippe Coutinho. Ozil would be a better bargain as he would cost seven times less than the Liverpool star.
The Catalan giants continue to pursue Coutinho, for whom they had several bid rejected in the summer.
The Brazilian also submitted a transfer request in an effort to push through a move to the Nou Camp.
However, the Reds stood their ground with chairman John W Henry intervening and asserting Coutinho will not be sold.
Barcelona continue to hope the Brazilian will join them to fill the aging club captain Andres Iniesta’s boot at the club.
Yet with the Reds still unwilling to relieve Coutiho of his contract unless they receive £133million (€150m), Barcelona are being forced to continue their search of the transfer market, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu keen to add more depth to the squad – having seen his team dominate the league since the beginning of the season.
“We are happy with the squad that we have but if things can be done to improve then they will be done, because we always aspire to more,” he told Monday’s Catalan Football Gala.
Now, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have developed an interest in Ozil, whose is in the final span of his north London contract.
The German international’s representative, Dr Erkut Sogut has already held a meeting with Pep Segura, the Catalans’ general manager.
It is claimed that £17million (€20m) will be enough to seal a move back to La Liga, with Arsene Wenger himself ready to sanction the deal, having failed to convince the 29-year-old to agree to a new deal.
Barcelona are keen to get the deal done early in the new year, having had a dismal summer window, when they failed to acquire either Coutinho or the then-Plan B, Angel Di Maria.