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BARCELONA will turn their attentions to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil if they fail to land Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.
Barcelona are aiming to wrap up a deal for Liverpool’s Coutinho, who has emerged as their top transfer target.
The Catalan giants were initially keen on Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti.
However, their interest in Neymar has signalled an end to Barcelona’s pursuit of the Italy international.
Consequently, Ernesto Valverde has targeted Coutinho, who he views as Andres Iniesta’s long-term replacement.
The Brazil international starred for Jurgen Klopp’s side last season, scoring 14 goals, and reports in Spain are saying that a deal is close to completion.
But Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that, if a deal for the Liverpool midfielder collapses, they will try to sign Ozil instead.
The Germany international appears set to stay at Arsenal, despite having a year left on his contract.
Yet Barcelona are supposedly ready to spend a huge £53million to prise him away from Arsene Wenger’s side.
It is said they feel that, though Wenger wants to keep the Germany international, a bid of that size would force Arsenal into selling.
Don Balon add Barcelona also like the idea given Ozil’s popularity among Real Madrid supporters.
The 28-year-old spent three years with Los Blancos between 2010 and 2013, helping them win La Liga in 2012.
However, he was sold to Arsenal after the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham for a then world-record fee of £86m.
Real fans famously booed Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to ditch Ozil and Barcelona could now make them regret it by sealing a deal.