Barcelona are said to be considering a late attempt to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig if Liverpool refuse to negotiate the departure of Philippe Coutinho before the transfer window closes in Spain on Friday (1 September).
Mundo Deportivo claim that the La Liga giants plan to keep fighting for the Brazilian ace until the very last minute, but could turn their attention to the Guinea midfielder if Liverpool's stance remains unchanged.
Barcelona confirmed the arrival of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund last week in a club-record deal and Ernesto Valverde suggested that more new arrivals will follow before deadline day.
"We're going to wait. Until the market closes we have time to add new players and also for some to leave. We have to balance the squad," Valverde said after previously securing five new signings in the form of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu, Marlon and the aforementioned Dembele.
Barcelona officials have publicly admitted that they want to sign Liverpool star Coutinho, while Mundo Deportivo say they are also still working on a deal to lure Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Keita could emerge as a late alternative with the Catalan publication stating that Barcelona are not contemplating a failure to bolster their midfield with at least one more player before the transfer window closes.
Keita was tipped to join Liverpool earlier this summer after being identified as Jugen Klopp's priority target to strengthen his own midfield. The Merseysiders, however, were forced to abandon their pursuit of the player after seeing club-record offers of £57m ($73.6m) and £66m rejected.
Coutinho remains Barcelona's top midfield target but Mundo Deportivo say that if Liverpool keep turning down their approaches for the Brazilian they could spend the money in making a last-ditch attempt to sign Keita.
The Spanish publication understand that signing Keita would be much more affordable as Barcelona already know that Coutinho could cost them up to €160m (£147.8m) with add-ons.
It is well known that Leipzig turned down up to £66m from Liverpool for Keita but something in the middle of that fee and what Barcelona are offering for Coutinho could be enough to convince the Bundesliga side to cash in on the midfielder.
Mundo Deportivo believe Barcelona see Keita as a "jewel" for the future having tracked his development for a while. Earlier this month, the Spanish publication revealed that Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez and assistant Urbano Ortega had travelled to watch him in action during Leipzig's 2-0 defeat to Schalke.