Liverpool should consider launching an audacious bid to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal if Philippe Coutinho ends up joining Barcelona in the January transfer window, former England manager Steve McClaren has said.

Coutinho has been heavily linked with a January move to the Catalan capital after Barcelona's kit manufacturers Nike advertised the club's shirts with the Brazilian playmaker's name on the back, hinting that a transfer is close to completion.

Reports have suggested that the Reds could demand as much as £160m ($217m) for the Brazilian midfielder, after they turned down a bid in the region of £115m from Barcelona during the summer.

McClaren said Liverpool could use those funds to finance a move for Sanchez, who is in the final six months of his contract at Arsenal.

"I would look at Sanchez from Arsenal as there may be a bit of movement there," the former Manchester United assistant coach was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

"£160m is a lot of money. You can buy a lot for that [but] Liverpool won't want to lose Coutinho's quality.

"I could [see Sanchez at Anfield]. Sanchez will be ambitious and he's that type of player that could replace Coutinho.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez is in the final six months of his Arsenal contract Getty Images

"But when you've got [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino and [Adam] Lallana, you might not need to replace him that much. Klopp will not want to lose Coutinho."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is also keen on signing Sanchez, but reports have suggested that the Premier League leaders could wait until the summer to sign the Chilean on a free transfer.

City had a bid accepted for Sanchez on transfer deadline day in August, but the deal collapsed after Arsenal failed to convince Monaco's Thomas Lemar to move to the Emirates Stadium as a replacement.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said last week that he was "not fearful" of losing Sanchez during the January window.