Barcelona have targeted Chelsea star Willian as an alternative should they fail in their attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
The Catalan side saw their approaches for Coutinho knocked back by Liverpool in the summer as the Anfield side demanded €200 million for him.
Chelsea 25/1 to win CL
The 25-year-old, however, handed in a transfer request to the Anfield club and Barca are expected to return for him in January.
CEO Oscar Grau has stated they are willing to splash out in the next transfer window to lure another attacker to replace Neymar, telling reporters: “We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market, or any player the technical staff request”.
Although the attacking midfielder is their first choice, the Camp Nou outfit are looking at other options and see his Brazil team-mate Willian as the right one.
Willian, 29, and Coutinho share an agent in Giuliano Bertolucci, who played a key role in negotiating Paulinho’s move from Guangzhou Evergrande, and the Camp Nou outfit are hoping he can help deliver at least one of their top options.
Contracted until June 2020, Chelsea will only consider selling him should they find a replacement first.
Willian has been in and out of Antonio Conte’s starting XI this season, but has scored four goals in 20 appearances across all competitions.