Barcelona are reportedly considering Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil as a more feasible alternative to number one target Philippe Coutinho if Liverpool continue to play hardball and refuse to allow the Brazilian to make the move to Camp Nou.
Barça failed with multiple bids for Coutinho in summer and talk of a renewed approach as soon as the transfer window re-opens in January has resulted in many, many headlines since August.
The Catalan press, pushing the agenda of the club in a public sphere, seemed to be confident that a January deal was almost a given. Now, however, there is less dogged belief in the reports.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barça are looking at Ozil instead, as the 29-year-old is infinitely more attainable than Coutinho.
It had previously been reported in Spain that Barça were unconcerned about Coutinho being cup-tied in the Champions League after already playing in the competition for Liverpool this season, but the fact that Ozil wouldn't be after only having the Europa League available to him is now being billed as a big plus for the German international.
Price is also a consideration, with Ozil currently on a rapidly expiring contract at Arsenal, compared to the new long-term deal that Coutinho signed at Liverpool only last season.
The Gunners are well aware that Ozil could leave as a free agent in the summer if continues to refuse fresh terms and selling for a cut price in January would be a way to recoup at least some of their original £42.5m investment in the player.
Ozil has previously played in Spain and has a proven record in La Liga as a result, with arguably the best years of his club career coming during his spell with Real Madrid.
Yet despite the obvious plausibility, one must also look at the cynical side, and question if the sudden 'interest' in Ozil is a deliberate attempt to put pressure on Coutinho and make the Brazilian worry he is losing his dream move so that he'll push harder to leave Liverpool.