After a summer-long pursuit which ultimately ended in frustration, the last thing Barcelona would want to see is their top target join another club.
It appears as though they will avoid that scenario, although that is far from a suggestion that they’re closing in on the signing of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
According to Sport, the Brazilian international has turned down a possible switch to join Paris Saint-Germain as ultimately his desire to move to the Nou Camp remains.
It’s claimed that a €150m bid was being plotted by the French giants, who made their play to try to convince Coutinho at the FIFA awards in London earlier this week.
However, it would appear as though his first choice remains Barca, while the sales of the likes of Arda Turan, Paco Alcacer and Rafinha amongst others are expected to help fund the huge swoop.
As per BBC Sport, Coutinho even handed in a transfer request over the summer such was his desire to move to Barcelona, but no agreement was ever reached between the two clubs and so he remained at Anfield.
To his credit, he has stayed professional and reintegrated back into the team, playing a key role too as he’s scored four goals and provided three assists in nine appearances so far this season.
Whether or not Barca can reach an agreement this time round remains to be seen, but they’ll be buoyed that Coutinho seemingly only has eyes for them if he is to finally leave Liverpool next year.
However, there are arguments against making a January swoop that surely require consideration. Ernesto Valverde’s side have started the campaign in impressive fashion as they sit top of the La Liga table and their Champions League group, and so adding new players in January risks upsetting the balance formed.
Further, with Coutinho cup-tied in the Champions League after featuring for Liverpool in the group stage, he wouldn’t be able to play any part in Europe in the second half of the season and so that may be a factor too in convincing Barca to wait until the summer.
Nevertheless, if PSG are still keen on the 25-year-old, then perhaps it makes more sense to try and get a deal done as soon as possible in order to avoid the risk of missing out.