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Philippe Coutinho blow for Liverpool as Lionel Messi makes special transfer request to Barcelona board

Coutinho speculation looks set to continue!

Philippe Coutinho is reportedly Lionel Messi’s favoured transfer target for Barcelona this January as Liverpool face a further struggle to hold on to their star player.

The Brazil international has shone during his time at Anfield, and was a top target for Barcelona throughout the summer, with BBC Sport reporting that Liverpool rejected three bids for the attacking midfielder.

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Liverpool may have weathered the storm for the time being, but it seems Messi is determined for Barca to try again for Coutinho as soon as the transfer window re-opens in the middle of the season, according to Diario Gol.

Despite the Catalan giants looking at a number of options in that part of the pitch, Messi is said to have urged the club’s board to make the former Inter Milan man their priority.

Coutinho – perfect for Barcelona?

Coutinho could be an ideal long-term replacement for veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta at the Nou Camp, though Sport claim they could face competition from Paris Saint-Germain.

Coutinho

The Daily Mail recently reported that Barcelona were planning to come back in with a £97million bid for Coutinho this winter.

One way or another, it looks like Liverpool will have to work very hard once again to keep the 25-year-old on their books as top clubs around Europe circle.

The Merseyside giants have long struggled to keep hold of their best players, with the likes of Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez among those poached in big-money moves by their rivals in recent years.

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