Lionel Messi has told board members to rethink the signing of Mesut Ozil from Arsenal.
Reports surfaced last week linking the Catalan club with a move for the German international, although a report in the Evening Standard claimed no contact had been made between the two clubs.
However, reports in in Catalan media on Tuesday morning now claim that a move on January 1st will be made.
The current La Liga leaders 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.
However, Messi has told those involved in a potential move that the German international could be the wrong choice, citing his ‘big game absence’, according to Diario Gol.
If Ozil moves in January, he would be free to play in the Champions League, having not played in the competition this season due to Arsenal’s Europa League campaign.
Ozil, like his team-mate and former Barca man – 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.