Barcelona are reportedly ready to call time on their efforts to sign Philippe Coutinho – if the club’s transfer committee can unanimously decide on a move for Mesut Ozil.
The La Liga giants have long been linked with a move for Coutinho having had three bids for his services rejected over the summer.
It’s believed Ernesto Valverde’s table-toppers remain keen on the Brazilian, however, and could launch a renewed £106million bid to land him when the transfer window reopens.
However, reports on Monday claimed the La Liga giants are torn on a move for Coutinho, with several key decision makers at the club believing Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil – set to become available on a free transfer next summer – representing a far shrewder investment.
Reports in Spain claim Barca’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez still wants the club to see through the signing of Coutinho, having done much of the groundwork behind the scenes to make the deal happen.
But the club’s General Manager Pep Segura, who is now senior to Fernandez, wants to look at other options and Ozil’s contract situation has made him the number one alternative in his eyes.
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The German’s performance for Arsenal in their north London derby win over Tottenham at the weekend was given plenty of coverage in Spain ahead of what is perceived as a likely swoop for Ozil, who will be able to discuss a move overseas from January 1.
Our Monday Verdict also detailed Ozil’s performance in light of interest from both Barcelona and Manchester United.
Former Real Madrid star Ozil has long been linked with Barcelona. He almost joined them back in 2010 for just €8million but, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta in their prime, Jose Mourinho stepped in to make sure it was Real Madrid who signed the German instead.
And while Barcelona have remained keen, there is a growing belief in the Spanish press that the club now wants Ozil ahead of the far more costly Coutinho.
The deal, however, is unlikely to go through in January, with Segura telling the club that the likes of Arda Turan and Denis Suarez must be offloaded before new players are brought in.
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