With the January transfer window fast approaching, Barcelona are stepping up their efforts to add strength and depth to their squad.
The Catalan giants have been admirers of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho over the past year, becoming close to signing him in the summer, but have since switched their attentions to other targets, notably Mesut Ozil of Arsenal.
With the German’s contract running out, Barca are hoping to sign him on the cheap, but recent developments, as reported by Don Balon, suggesting that they would be willing to trade midfield flop Andre Gomes in return.
Failed to please fans
Ozil has been struggling to win over the Arsenal fans since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, despite producing 45 assists in the league since joining in 2013, including one for the opening goal against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
This has left him disgruntled, along with the Gunners’ downward spiral, after failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 18 years last season.
Arsenal are adamant to keep hold of their star midfielder, but with the possibility of losing him for free in the summer, they will have to weigh their options.
Barca flop to Ozil replacement?
Gomes was once seen as one of the brightest midfielders in La Liga during his time at Valencia, however since moving to Barcelona in 2016 for an initial €35m plus a further €20m in add-ons, he has failed to replicate the same form.
The Portugal international rose through the academy at Benfica, spending time on loan at Los Che, before moving on a permanent deal in 2015.
After making 78 appearances for Valencia, Gomes was signed by Barcelona, but he has struggled to cement a regular first-team place, appearing in five league games so far this season.
While Arsenal will be weary about the Portuguese’s performances over the last 15 months, Gomes is still a talented midfielder and they would rather have a replacement for Ozil than risk losing him for nothing in the summer.