Philippe Coutinho, not Mesut Özil, is still Barcelona’s priority signing in January, according to reports in Spain.

Özil has been linked with Barcelona more strongly in recent weeks, with some reports in the last few days even claiming that the German had reached and agreement with the Catalan club.

However, whilst Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via Fichajes) writes that Mesut is Barcelona’s number one alternative to Coutinho, they claim that the club still haven’t given up on the Liverpool man despite Liverpool ‘not making things easy’. Why should they be expected to?

Over the summer, there were rumours of bids as high as £138m for the 25-year-old, as Barcelona looked to reinvest some of the money they received from Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar. But Liverpool turned them down time and again, which is reportedly why the La Liga leaders have backup options in place this time around.

With showings like Mesut’s man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham last weekend, Arsenal fans won’t want to see their club lose such an important player midway through the season. Bar a poor match against Manchester City, Özil has looked back to his creative best in recent weeks.

The German has three assists and a goal in his last four matches for Arsenal, and is averaging 4.11 chances created per 90 this season, compared to 3.10 last campaign. So hopefully Barcelona land Coutinho, or Mesut commits his future before they have the chance to turn to the 29-year-old.