Chelsea winger Willian has reportedly emerged as the latest in a growing list of 'Plan B' alternatives to Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona remain determined to land a creative attacking player in the transfer market this winter.
Barça famously failed to convince Liverpool to sell Coutinho during the summer, despite submitting several huge offers for the Brazilian. They are expected to try their luck again come January, but the Catalans may also turn to others should the Merseysiders remain as unwilling.
Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil has been heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou. Lyon's Nabil Fekir, Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and former Barça player Thiago Alcantara have all been linked as well, albeit in reports of significantly less substance.
A story from Goal.com suggests that Willian has now emerged on the radar.
The Brazilian has struggled to hold down a place in the Chelsea team this season, starting only half of the club's Premier League games and just twice in all competitions since 14th October.
He was similarly in and out of the team last season as well, starting fewer than half (15) of his 34 Premier League appearances as Chelsea cruised to the title.
The report seems to imply that Chelsea might be willing to sell the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, but only if a suitable replacement can be found. The reigning champions are certainly under no pressure to sell, though, as Willian remains under contract until 2020.
The key figure for Barça in the saga may be agent Giuliano Bertolucci. He represents both Coutinho and Willian, and may push the latter towards Camp Nou if a deal for the former becomes impossible to complete.
The same man was also apparently involved in successfully taking another Brazilian in Paulinho to Catalunya from Guangzhou Evergrade during the summer.