FC Barcelona have reportedly identified former player Thiago Alcantara to be the first major acquisition of the club's planned overhaul under Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona are reportedly in the market to sign a new midfielder following the departures of Arthur Melo to Juventus and Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla, while Chile international Arturo Vidal also expected to leave the club in the coming weeks.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claim that the club has identified former player Thiago as a possible solution, although new manager Ronald Koeman reportedly prefers a move for Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum instead.
The situation has reportedly led to a debate among the Barca management where the camp has been split between the two options: Koeman has a strong relationship with Wijnaldum, having coached him with the Netherlands, while many at the club would prefer to see their former player return from Bayern Munich.
Barca are said to believe that both players would be attainable at a fee of around €25 million (R493 million) each, due their respective ages (both players are 29 years old) and the fact that they will both be out of contract at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Catalan giants' new-found interest in the Spaniard creates an interesting dynamic with Liverpool in the transfer market, where the reigning Premier League champions have been strongly linked with a move for the Bayern star in recent weeks.
Scroll through the gallery below to see which players could still leave Barcelona in the coming weeks
However, Thiago, who has been away on international duty with Spain, addressed the rumours surrounding his possible departure from Bayern ahead of La Roja's UEFA Nations League clash against Ukraine over the weekend.
"I have not said at any time that I am leaving, every year you put me in a different team. I am on the sidelines, my future is tomorrow’s game right now. I neither care nor am I interested in what I know I talked," he said, according to Manchester Evening News.
Wijnaldum, who helped Liverpool win a first league title in 30 years last season, is also keeping his cards close to his chest and recently dismissed talk about a potential reunion with his former national team boss as mere transfer speculation.
"It’s a rumour, I have nothing to say about it," the former Newcastle United star told reporters last week, per Goal.