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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Barcelona to turn to Tottenham's Eriksen if Liverpool refuse to sell Coutinho

Primera Liga club are in the market for a long-term successor to Iniesta and are still hoping to sign Dembele from Dortmund to replace Neymar.

Christian Eriksen is a reported transfer target for Barcelona. Jordan Mansfield / Getty Images
Christian Eriksen is a reported transfer target for Barcelona. Jordan Mansfield / Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen has emerged as a transfer target for Barcelona as the Spanish club face a battle to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, according to media reports.

Barca are in the market for a midfielder and a replacement for Neymar after the Brazilian forward sealed a world record €222 million (Dh963.8m) move to Paris Saint-Germain at the start of this month.

Barcelona are aiming to use the money from Neymar's sale to sign a long-term successor to midfielder Andres Iniesta as well as a forward to fill the void left by the Brazilian.

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Barcelona have had two offers for Coutinho rejected by Liverpool, the most recent reported to be worth €100m. Subsequently, the Premier League club released a statement insisting the Brazil international is "definitively" not for sale. Hours after the statement was released, reports emerged claiming Coutinho had handed in a written transfer request via email.

Barca are expected to continue their pursuit of Coutinho, but Liverpool's refusal to negotiate has forced the Catalans to look elsewhere, with Eriksen reportedly on their radar. Coutinho is reportedly viewed by the Barcelona hierarchy as the preferred choice to succeed Iniesta, but according to The Independent, Eriksen is also viewed as well suited to the club's style of play.

However, Barca are likely to face similar resistance from Tottenham in their attempts to sign the Denmark international, who signed a new four-year contract in September 2017. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has earned a reputation for his negotiation abilities and it is reported that Spurs will demand a figure in the region of £100m (Dh474.9m) for Eriksen.

In their attempts to replace Neymar, Barcelona remain confident of signing Borussia Dortmund's French winger Ousmane Dembele despite seeing their initial €100m bid rejected by the German club.

Dortmund released a statement on Thursday announcing the club had temporarily suspended Dembele after he failed to attend a training session in the wake of Barcelona's offer.

According to AS, Barca are expected to increase their bid to €140m for the 20-year-old France international. However, reports in Italy have claimed that should Dortmund refuse to sell Dembele, Barcelona are set to turn their attentions to Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic.

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