Speculation over Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho moving to Barcelona refuses to go away, but there might be good news for Reds supporters.
The Brazilian international was involved in a summer-long transfer saga which didn’t result in a sale as Liverpool refused to budge and didn’t allow him to leave.
However, as reported by The Daily Star, there is continued talk that a January bid will be submitted, and while it seems as though the 25-year-old is still the priority for the Catalan giants, reports in Spain claim that there are alternatives on Barcelona’s shortlist.
Barca have made a superb start to the season as they sit top of the La Liga table and their Champions League group and so a key addition like Coutinho in January may arguably even be the wrong move as it could upset the balance that Ernesto Valverde has found in his side.
Nevertheless, according to Sport, it’s claimed that Barcelona will sign an attacking player in January and for now at least, Coutinho remains their first choice.
Perhaps slightly reassuring though for Liverpool supporters hoping that their star man stays at Anfield, it’s added that the La Liga outfit have four other names on their transfer shortlist in the event that they fail again in their attempt to prise Coutinho away.
Leon Goretzka, Max Meyer, Julian Brandt and Thomas Lemar are all specifically mentioned in the report, and they all seemingly fit the mould in terms of what Barcelona are looking for. Goretzka’s contract expires next summer and so he may well command a lesser fee in a cut-price deal in January, while Lemar is said to likely cost anything up to €40m.
Time will if Liverpool face another battle in the new year to keep their top creative player and it would undoubtedly be a huge blow to Jurgen Klopp to lose him given he has now successfully reintegrated back into the side and has contributed four goals and three assists in nine appearances after such a tumultuous summer.