Barcelona are continuing to scour the markets for bargain deals ahead of the January transfer window owing to their ongoing financial turmoil. Chelsea duo Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have emerged as potential alternatives for primary target Raheem Sterling.
The Catalan club's chances of making additions during the winter transfer window will depend on their ability to free up space on the wage bill or raise funds by selling players that are not in manager Xavi Hernandez's plans. Barcelona are therefore looking at players whom they can sign first on loan with an option to make it permanent at a later date.
According to ESPN, the La Liga giants are seeking out players at top clubs that are struggling for regular game time. They are prepared to insert an option to buy out the player's contract but do not want to make it an obligation owing to their precarious financial position.
Sterling was Barcelona's number one target in the summer, but the cash strapped club could not complete the deal. They were again planning to make a move in January, but Manchester City will only be interested in a loan if Barcelona accept an obligation to make the deal permanent next summer.
The inability to find an agreement for Sterling has seen Barcelona look elsewhere and they have identified Ziyech and Werner as alternatives to the England international. The competition for places in Thomas Tuchel's team has seen the duo struggle to play regularly. This opened the door for Barcelona to make enquiries about their availability in the upcoming transfer window.
Ziyech has played just twice in the Premier League this season, but has made a further nine appearances in cup competitions. Werner, on the other hand, has been restricted to just nine appearances in all competitions with only six of those coming from the start.
The Catalan outfit's director of football, Matheu Alemany revealed recently that Barcelona could be restricted when it comes to signing players in January, but any player sale will allow them to make a move in the market. Xavi is keen to bring in a wide attacking player, and recent reports have indicated that Barcelona could be willing to let £75 million-rated Frenkie de Jong leave to raise some much needed cash.