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Barcelona Transfer News: Top Targets for Barca in January Window

Barcelona have enjoyed a superb start to the season under new coach Ernesto Valverde, as they top La Liga at Christmas by nine points. A Clasico win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday also means the Catalan giants are still unbeaten and 14 points ahead of their hated rivals, who are languishing in fourth. However, despite their superb results, Barcelona have not been at their free-flowing attacking best and could look to strengthen when the transfer window opens on January 1. The club may also need to invest in the defence and find a replacement for Javier Mascherano. The Argentinian has agreed a €10 million (£8.9 million) move to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune, per Sport. Here is a look at the club's top targets for the January transfer window and the players who could be heading to Camp Nou this winter.             Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool   Barcelona's pursuit of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho shows no sign of abating, and the club is hopeful of bringing him in during the January transfer window after meeting with his representatives again, per Sport's Albert Masnou and Joaquim Piera. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said he will not talk about transfer rumours when asked about the recent speculation and added that Coutinho is not distracted by the talk over his future, per Neil Jones at the Liverpool Echo. Coutinho has been in superb form this season, as Opta demonstrated: However, he has also said that he "does not know what his future is going to be," per Rory O'Callaghan at Sky Sports. The Brazilian would bring some much-needed invention and creativity to Barcelona. The Blaugrana have lacked inspiration at times this season following Neymar's summer departure and with Ousmane Dembele out injured. However, any deal would be far from smooth, with Liverpool likely reluctant to sell and demanding big money for Coutinho. The Brazilian would also not be eligible to play in the UEFA Champions League were he to move, although that does not appear to have put the Catalans off, as he is also seen as the long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta.         Yerry Mina, Palmeiras Should Mascherano leave this winter, as expected, Barcelona would only have Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen as senior centre-backs and may want to bring in one more. Barcelona have an option to buy Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina in July 2018, but the defender would be willing to join in January, according to his agent, Yair Mina, per COPE (h/t Sport). Mina recently spoke about a move and said that it is his dream to play with Lionel Messi and that he is "hoping that with the help of God things will be resolved," per Sport. Iniesta has said that both Mina and Coutinho would be "important reinforcements" for Barcelona, per Goal. Mina is a tall, powerful defender who is good in the air and calm in possession, and it looks as though his future does lie in Barcelona. With a new centre-back needed, bringing a move for Mina forward looks to be the best option for Barcelona and would ensure they have enough defensive cover for the rest of the season.               Arthur, Gremio Barcelona's interest in Gremio midfielder Arthur is well-known after photographs of the Brazilian wearing the Blaugrana's shirt alongside sporting director Robert Fernandez were leaked. Football writer Paulo Freitas shared the image: The midfielder said although he met with the club, he has not agreed a move. However, he noted Barca's interest gives him "great pride," per Marca. Chelsea are also interested in Arthur, but Barcelona are hoping to secure him in a deal worth €25 million (£22 million), per Albert Masnou at Sport. Tifo Football presented an idea of why Barcelona want to sign Arthur: Meanwhile, Gremio coach Renato has said "it will be difficult" to keep Arthur because of European clubs' interest in the player, per Sport. Barcelona may choose to act in January and snap Arthur up before more clubs show an interest, which could drive up his price.Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com...

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Published By: Bleacher Report - Monday, 25 December, 2017







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