Barca line up shock move for Chelsea star as Coutinho back-up option

Date published: Friday 1st December 2017 12:01

Barcelona have reportedly targeted Chelsea star Willian as an alternative should they fail in their attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

The Catalan giants found themselves being knocked back all summer long by Liverpool, who were demanding no less than €200million for their star man.

The 25-year-old even handed in a transfer request to try and force the move but has since returned to Jurgen Klopp’s side with no issues between player and manager to speak of.

Barca remain in the market for a replacement for Neymar and CEO Oscar Grau has stated they are willing to spend big in January to bring in another attacker: “We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market, or any player the technical staff request”.

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However, the La Liga giants are fully expecting more tough negotiations with Liverpool and are lining up alternatives in case the move does not happen, according to the report on Goal.

One such option is believed to be Coutinho’s Brazil team-mate Willian, who is struggling to earn a regular starting spot under Antonio Conte at Chelsea this season.

The 29-year-old shares an agent with Coutinho and Barca new boy Paulinho and Barca are hoping that the fact they have already negotiated with Giuliano Bertolucci could make things easier to potentially land Willian.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk forward’s current contract runs out in 2020 and it’s believed that Chelsea are only prepared to sell if they have an alternative option in place.

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