Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho's alternatives revealed, set to battle Chelsea for top defensive target and more - 17th October 2017
Barcelona's alternatives for Coutinho lie in Bundesliga
The Catalan club has earmarked Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho as their top target in January but the deal may not be possible until next summer. Sport reports that Barcelona have looked for alternatives and have finally zeroed in on two.
Ernesto Valverde reportedly wants either Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt or Schalke's Max Meyer if the club fails to land Coutinho in January. The report further states that Barcelona have already spoken to both the players over a potential move.
Brandt is rumoured to have a release clause of €40 million but the Spanish club could face competition from Bayern Munich. In such a scenario, Meyer offers a better option as his contract is set to expire in the summer.
Barcelona in a two-way fight for Kalidou Koulibaly
The Napoli centre-back has become one of the best defenders around since his arrival in Naples in 2014. Koulibaly is a mainstay in Maurizio Sarri's team who sit at the top of Serie A at the moment but has been linked with a move away for quite some time now.
As per Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are set to hijack the player's move to Chelsea, who are reportedly willing to bid €60 million. Valverde's defence is ageing with both Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano on the wrong side of 30.
As a result, the Blaugrana could sign the 26-year old Frenchman to partner fellow countryman Samuel Umtiti in the long run.
Liverpool's Ben Woodburn on the radar
Liverpool share a frosty relationship with Barcelona given the Spanish club's unrelenting pursuit of Philippe Coutinho. Now, the Catalans are looking to irk the English club further as they are interested in signing Ben Woodburn, as per Don Balon.
The 18-year old is arguably the best youngster at Jurgen Klopp's disposal and is already a Wales international. The report states that Barcelona want to sign the youngster along with Coutinho.
While it remains to be seen whether the Reds will allow both players to leave, there is no doubt that signing both of them will secure Barcelona's present and future.