Barcelona saw their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho turn to vapour in the air as Liverpool remained defiant on their star player. The Spanish giant saw a number of bids rejected in the summer and although they are ready to play the wait and watch game, Jurgen Klopp would be very reluctant to part ways with his prized asset.
According to reports, Barcelona are ready to make a move for Thiago Alcantara. The Spanish midfielder has been likened to midfield maestro Andres Iniesta and was tipped to fill in his shoes. He is targeted as a replacement for Coutinho. Having graduated from the La Masia academy, Rafinha is tailor-made for the Catalans but lack of first-team opportunities saw Bayern Munich steal him away not too long ago.
Alcantara did have a very shaky start to his Bayern career but his continuous efforts on the middle of the pitch reaped rich dividends under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.
The Spanish gaffer used him heavily in the central midfield and he made the position his own. His classy displays even earned him a regular spot in the Spanish national team but the departure of Carlo Ancelotti from Bayern Munich could be a hindrance in his progress.
The German club struggled this season under the Italian manager and following some average performances, the club hierarchy decided to part ways with the manager. They called on Jupp Heynckes to replace him and it would be interesting to see if the manager prefers him regularly.
Ideally, he is the successor for Iniesta, having played at the club for a long time. Coutinho has been one of the highly rated playmakers but the Reds are believed to have slapped a price tag of £160m which is a big hindrance in his move.
Barcelona are now readying a plan B if they somehow fail to rope in the Brazilian and are very keen to bring Alcantara back, who used to be one of their own. Alcantara surely would love to reunite with the club as well.
Iniesta recently committed his future at the Nou Camp by signing a lifetime contract at the club but he is not the same player he used to be so a change is evident and Alcantara remains the favourite. But the Spaniard signed a new contract to extend his stay till 2021 and it would be a tough task for Barcelona to convince the Bayern man to make the move.