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Barcelona to sign Oscar as Philippe Coutinho replacement?

Barcelona to sign Oscar as Philippe Coutinho replacement?

Barcelona have reportedly identified Brazilian playmaker Oscar as their replacement for the outgoing Philippe Coutinho.

Coutinho, 29, has moved back to the Premier League with Aston Villa on an initial six-month loan deal, with Steven Gerrard‘s side having a €40m (£33m) option to buy in the summer.

Barcelona head coach Xavi and club president Joan Laporta are now looking to recruit a new creative midfielder before the January transfer window closes.

According to TNT Sports Brazil journalist Marcelo Bechler, Barcelona have already made contact with Oscar’s current club Shanghai Port, though negotiations to sign the 30-year-old could be complicated given Barca’s financial situation.

Oscar is understood to be interested in a move to Camp Nou, but he would likely have to take a significant wage cut in order to make the switch to Catalonia.

The 48-cap Brazil international was one of the first high-profile names in world football who made the surprise move to China, moving from Chelsea for around £60m.

Oscar, who is under contract until November 2024, has since gone on to make 170 appearances for Shanghai Port, scoring 50 goals and providing 93 assists.

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