Barcelona are switching their attentions to Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil as they continue their transfer search ahead of the January window, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalan giants have been chasing Philippe Coutinho since the summer, but having spent over £135m on Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in August, they are baulking at the Liverpool star’s price tag that would be in the same region.
Arsenal are hoping to sign Ozil to new contract, but as he will become a free agent in July, Barca feel they can get the German on the cheap.
Ozil, like his team-mate Alexis Sanchez, have refused to sign new deals at the North London, becoming unsettled at the lack of success at the club.
After arriving for a then-club record fee of £42.5m, the German midfielder has showed glimpses of his extraordinary talent, but has failed to win over the Arsenal fans, who believe he has not contributed enough for his price tag.
Despite providing 19 assists in the league in his second season at the Emirates Stadium, just two from the record, Ozil has only managed to garner 11 in the last 18 months.
Where would he play?
While Barcelona feel they can get the German on the cheap, he would play different role to Coutinho.
The Liverpool man can play on the wing, where he was originally earmarked following the departure of Neymar. However, Ozil would need to sit behind the front three, a position typically held by Andres Iniesta or Ivan Rakitic.
Yet, Barca can use the German in the Champions League, should they sign him in January, with Arsenal only managing to reach the Europa League, while any move for Coutinho would mean he is cup-tied until next season.