Arsenal Transfer News: Barcelona Eyeing Mesut Ozil Amid Latest Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2017

Manchester City's English midfielder Fabian Delph (L) vies with Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a possible January move for Arsenal's Mesut Ozil as an alternative to Philippe Coutinho if they cannot convince Liverpool to sell the Brazilian.

According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via MailOnline's Alex Martin), Arsenal could be open to selling playmaker Ozil in January in order to recoup some money in the event he leaves for free next summer when his contract expires.

The report added that Barca are attracted by the significant saving they could make buying Ozil rather than Coutinho. Further, because Arsenal are in the UEFA Europa League, the German would not be cup-tied for the UEFA Champions League in the second half of the season.

Ozil has also already proved his worth in La Liga during three impressive seasons with Real Madrid before he joined Arsenal for £42.5 million in 2013.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Barca pushed hard to sign Coutinho in the summer transfer window, lodging three separate bids. The biggest was worth up to €130 million (£119 million), per the Guardian's Andy Hunter.

Liverpool rejected their approaches, but the Catalan giants are preparing to return for the former Inter Milan man again in the new year, per Chris Bascombe in the Telegraph.

The Reds are still likely to hold firm on their position that he is not for sale, though, meaning Barca could have to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements.

The departure of Neymar in the summer and long-term injury to replacement Ousmane Dembele have revealed a lack of depth currently in Barca's front line, especially with Luis Suarez not firing.

Coutinho has the ability and versatility to be a fine addition, but he is likely to be difficult to sign and hugely expensive even if Liverpool agree to let him go.

Ozil, on the other hand, will not be expensive given he will only have six months remaining on his contract in January. And he has contributed consistently for Arsenal over the last few seasons:

At 29, Ozil is still in the peak years of his career.

Although his preferred No. 10 role does not exist in Barca manager Ernesto Valverde's 4-4-2 system, the Germany international has the talent to adapt to play in the centre of midfield or on the flank.