BARCELONA have reportedly switched their focus to signing Arsenal’s former Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil following the frustration in their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho.
The Nou Camp board are split as to which route to follow when the transfer window opens in January.
Barca’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez is determined to see through the long-running deal to land Liverpool’s Brazilian star after they identified him as their No1 target last summer.
However, the Mail claim general manager Pep Segura now wants to look at other options with Ozil’s contract situation making him an attractive alternative.
The German’s deal runs out at the Emirates at the end of the season and he will be free to sign for another club.
But following his stunning performance in Arsenal’s Premier League victory over Tottenham on Saturday, the Catalans are weighing up whether to tempt Arsenal into selling early.
And due to their lack of Champions League football, the 29-year-old attacker would be eligible eligible to play for Barcelona in the knockout stages of the competition in the new year.
Ozil spent three years with bitter rivals Madrid but the La Liga leaders’ supporters do not seem to be too deterred by his past following his display against Spurs.
Barca almost signed the winger for just €8million back in 2010 but Jose Mourinho swooped to bring him to the Bernabeu instead.
The Portuguese has been linked with a reunion with his former ace at Manchester United.
He wants to bring Ozil to Old Trafford when his contract expires on a free.
But those plans could be in serious jeopardy should Barca concede defeat in their pursuit of Coutinho and launch a winter raid on the Gunners.
They do need to shift out some personal before they can bring in any new talent and they are desperate to get Turkish midfielder Arda Turan off their wage bill.
He is one of highest-earners at the club but is yet to feature so far this campaign.
They are are also hoping to offload midfielder Denis Suarez to Napoli.
But the Spaniard is playing hard ball and is reluctant to move to Italy.