Former Barcelona legend Ronaldinho believes Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho is capable of replacing Neymar at the Camp Nou but says a deal may prove difficult to push through as clubs know the Catalan giants are set to be flush with cash.
With Neymar poised to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a deal that could be worth £198m (€222m, $263.7m), Ernesto Valverde's men are scouring the transfer market in order to fill the void left by the departing Brazilian.
Barcelona's pursuit of Liverpool's Coutinho has been well publicised in recent weeks; they have already seen a bid of £72m rejected by Jurgen Klopp's men, who remain unmoved in their stance to keep hold of their prized playmaker despite strong speculation.
Ronaldinho, who went in the opposite direction to Neymar and moved to Barcelona from PSG in the summer of 2003, is in no doubt that Coutinho has the ability to compensate for the loss of his fellow Brazil international but thinks Liverpool will try and wrangle every last penny out of the Blaugrana - if they decide to sell - as they and the rest of the football world covet the incredible amount of money that is set to swell the coffers in Catalonia.
"There are only very few players in the world who can replace Neymar - and I have said that I think Coutinho could play for them," Ronaldinho was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
"He is at a level where he could come and fill the gap left by Neymar - but Liverpool will know his worth and after the fees of this summer it will cost Barcelona."
"There is no doubt that Barcelona will try and replace Neymar - but the problem they have is that clubs now know their financial position.
"The fee for Neymar has been made public and opposition clubs will know that Barcelona have all that money - they are not going to let their best players go cheaply."
Barcelona may not be able to convince Liverpool to part with Coutinho this summer, and they could also find a deal for another well-known target too dear to complete. Barca's interest in Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Ousmane Dembele was established earlier this summer, but according to Bild, relayed by Football365, the German giants have attempted to ward off interest in the supremely gifted France international by placing a gargantuan €90m price tag on a player they bought for just €15m last summer.
Dembele enjoyed an impressive first season at the Westfalenstadion and helped BVB secure Champions League qualification and the Audi Cup. His performances naturally attracted interest from Europe's elite, but for now the former Rennes wonderkid is purely focused on winning more silverware under the guidance of new Dortmund boss Peter Bosz, who has garnered a reputation for developing young talent.
"He [Bosz] speaks fluent French and I hope that I can keep improving under him," Dembele told the Bundesliga's official website. "But not only me – the whole team's got a good future. I want to win the Champions League, I'd like to win the World Cup with France and obviously I want to win more titles with BVB."