Barcelona will make an approach in signing Arsenal star Mesut Ozil or Gremio starlet Arthur Melo, if they fail to reach an agreement with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window.
The Brazil international was a target for Ernesto Valverde and the Catalan club's multiple approaches were turned down. The former Inter Milan man was keen on completing a switch to Camp Nou and even handed in a transfer request to force a move away from Anfield.
Liverpool were adamant and were not willing to allow him to leave the club. According to Sport, Barcelona have made signing an offensive player as a priority in the mid-season window. They will only look to strengthen their defence if Javier Mascherano leaves the club in the same window.
Barcelona have already reached an agreement with the player, but are yet to find a solution with his employers. They believe the addition of Coutinho in January will bolster their squad and give Valverde more options due to his ability to play in more than one position.
The Merseyside club are not willing to negotiate and are demanding €150m (£132.1m, $176.7m) to part ways with the 25-year-old. It is still not decided whether Barcelona will pay the fee in installments, if the two clubs reach an agreement.
Valverde had earlier refused to discuss regarding the recent speculations linking Coutinho, with a move to Spain. However, the club's CEO Oscar Grau admitted in October that his side are "financially ready" to land their priority target in January.
Any failure from Barcelona in landing Coutinho will force them to shift their attention towards two alternatives – Ozil and Arthur. The latter's display for Gremio has convinced the top officials at the club.
The 21-year-old Brazilian has a release clause of €50m (£44m, $58.7m) in his contract. However, the European giants are hoping they can convince Gremio if a deal can be brokered for €30m (£26.4m, $35.2m).
Barcelona's technical secretary Robert Fernández personally followed the player in South America, who is also a target for United, as per another report from Sport. Even Chelsea are also in the race for his signature. Despite the interest from top European clubs, Arthur is eager to swap Gremio for Camp Nou and wants Valverde's side to make a final move for his services.
Ozil is also identified as an alternative to Coutinho. The World Cup winner with Germany is also linked with a move to Manchester United, whose contract at Arsenal will run down after the end of the season.
Arsenal will sanction the former Real Madrid star's sale if the interested clubs can meet their €20m (£17.6m, $23.5m). In addition to this, the player is demanding a signing-on bonus, if he has to join a club on a free transfer.
His inconsistent display for Arsenal and hefty wage demands has made him the third choice target in the attacking position, behind Coutinho and Arthur. If the deal for Liverpool star goes through, it should be seen if Barcelona will still make an approach for his compatriot.