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Spanish football expert offers definitive answer on €145m Barcelona target, and Mesut Ozil

Barcelona have been linked with swoops for Philippe Coutinho or Mesut Ozil in recent weeks, and Guillem Balague has given his insight on the matter.

The Catalan giants don’t appear to be in an immediate need of reinforcements given Ernesto Valverde has led his side to the top of the La Liga table and their Champions League group as they are yet to taste defeat in either competition.

Further, any additions in January could upset the balance created in the side so far this season, but that hasn’t prevented talk of a move for Coutinho, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that it will take a bid of €145m to prise him away from Liverpool in the New Year.

However, Balague isn’t convinced that such developments are true, as evidently after speaking with his sources, he has dismissed the notion of there being a valuation in place, while he has insisted that the two parties are not even in discussions over a transfer.

“It’s being said in the Catalan press that Liverpool have a price they would like for Coutinho but that is a lie. No price has been put forward and, as it stands, Liverpool’s position has not changed,” he said in his Sky Sports Q&A.

Further, he was also asked about Ozil potentially moving to the Nou Camp, and again he moved to silence the rumour: “No, Mesut Ozil is not a target for Barcelona. They do not want him and, if you listen to Arsene Wenger, Arsenal do not want to sell him either.”

In turn, depending on how much weight you want to give to his view on the latest transfer talks at Barcelona, with his history in such matters suggesting that he’s more often right than wrong, it would appear as though the Catalan giants are not closing in on any high-profile signings in January.

That doesn’t rule out the possibility of it happening, but as noted above, their form so far this season will surely mean that they’re not desperate to add players unless the right individuals become available for the right prices, which is a great position to be in for any club.

That’s a lot of money for Coutinho if it were true, while Ozil could be a sensible target if he was on Barcelona’s agenda, with the German international available on a free at the end of the season with his contract set to expire.

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