Liverpool should soften the blow of losing Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona by launching an audacious £40m ($54.3m) bid for Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez, according to former Reds forward John Aldridge.

Coutinho's heart is still very much set on a move the Camp Nou and is confident a deal between both the Blaugrana and the Reds can be thrashed out during the January transfer window. Jurgen Klopp's side were staunch in their refusal to part with the former Inter Milan starlet in the summer, but they are reportedly open to losing the 25-year-old if the Spanish league leaders submit an offer worth around £130m.

It is not clear if Coutinho's proposed move to Barcelona will materialise in January or the summer, though the Brazilian seems intent on leaving Merseyside for Catalonia as soon as possible.

If Coutinho does depart this month, Aldridge, who scored 63 goals during his two-and-a-half year spell at Anfield, thinks his former club should replace him with a former Barcelona star in the form of Sanchez, who is set to leave Arsenal in the coming months.

"Liverpool made a real statement of intent when they paid £75m to sign Virgil van Dijk - and now they should put in a sneaky £40m offer to try and get Alexis Sanchez out of Arsenal," Aldridge said, per the Irish Independent.

"The absence of Philippe Coutinho from the Liverpool team [that faced Burnley] fuelled rumours that he may be on his way to Barcelona sooner than we expected, but that would not be so much of a concern if they could nick a player like Sanchez."

Liverpool competed with Arsenal for Sanchez's signature back in 2014 but ultimately lost out to the Gunners due to the Chilean's preference to live in London.

Location does not seem to matter so much for the former Udinese wonderkid, who is said to have designs on a move to Manchester City, but Aldridge has urged Liverpool to pip the runaway league leaders to the signing of 29-year-old, who he believes would make Reds supporters instantly forget about the loss of Coutinho.

"I'm a big fan of the Chilean forward who turned down a move to Liverpool in favour of joining Arsenal in the summer of 2014, amid suggestions he did not want to live in the north of England," Aldridge said.

"Well, if he is keen to join Manchester City now, that stance has clearly changed and maybe he would be tempted by a move to a Liverpool side that he would fit into so easily.

"Sanchez is out of contract at Arsenal next summer and while Manchester City appear to be favourites to sign him, Liverpool should try their chances of getting him in this month's transfer window.

"If Liverpool could grab Sanchez now, it would be a major coup and then Liverpool fans would not be too concerned if Coutinho left for Barcelona."

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez's future could lie anywhere Getty Images