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Barcelona Philippe Coutinho Capture 'Almost Impossible,' Club Plan January Moves

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil reportedly heads a shortlist of January targets for Barcelona, with the capture of long-term Blaugrana target Philippe Coutinho "almost impossible."  According to Marca, Barca are keen to add another creative star to their squad to relieve the pressure on Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, and with a deal for Coutinho looking unlikely, they have considered January moves for Ozil, Nabil Fekir of Lyon, CSKA Moscow's Aleksandr Golovin and Schalke duo Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka Additionally, Palmeiras centre-back Yerry Mina is a key target to replace Javier Mascherano, who is set to leave for Hebei China Fortune, while Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Gerard Deulofeu could also depart the Camp Nou, per Marca. Barcelona finished 2017 with a 3-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday to move nine points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, while the gap to fourth-placed Los Blancos is now 14 points. They are unbeaten since August but eager to bolster their squad to ensure they do not drop form in the second half of the campaign. Gunners playmaker Ozil could be a good alternative to Coutinho as he has enjoyed a fine season so far in 2017-18, netting four Premier League goals and providing five assists in 16 Premier League appearances. The German may also be available for a relative bargain in January as his Arsenal contract expires in the summer, when he could leave the Emirates Stadium for free. Previous reports have indicated Barca could snap up Ozil, 29, for €20 million (£17.7 million) in the winter window, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness). He has the technical skill and creativity to work well in Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde's system and also boasts previous experience of La Liga having enjoyed three successful seasons at Real Madrid. Arsenal may be open to the idea of letting him go in January in order to make a little money, but they might decide it is worth keeping him for the second half of 2017-18 despite the danger he could leave for free. In such a scenario, Lyon's Fekir would arguably the best alternative signing for Barca given he has scored 13 goals and provided four assists in 16 Ligue 1 appearances already this term. Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com...

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Published By: Bleacher Report - Wednesday, 27 December, 2017







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