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Barcelona told to pay €145m if they want to land top target in January

It’s a transfer rumour that has dragged on since the summer, but reports in Spain claim Barcelona have been told to splash out €145m if they want Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian playmaker has been in fine form so far this season, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists in just 16 appearances in all competitions.

In turn, Coutinho has proven exactly why Barcelona are keen to sign him and why Liverpool are desperate to keep hold of him, putting the speculation from the summer behind him to play a fundamental role in Jurgen Klopp’s side.

According to Mundo Deportivo though, Liverpool have set a price of €145m (£127m) for the 25-year-old, with Barcelona still interested and discussions continuing to take place over a transfer, albeit the Catalan giants are still eager to pay less, as per the report.

Whether or not they get their way remains to be seen, but with Andres Iniesta edging ever closer to the latter stages of his playing career, a successor will be needed in that midfield role.

Given the intensity with which Barca have been linked with Coutinho and with the rumour refusing to go away, it would appear as though they’ve settled on him being the solution to their soon-to-be problem, despite having three bids rejected by the Merseyside out in the summer, as per BBC Sport.

There’s no denying that they’re looking in the right place as the Brazilian ace has shown his technical quality, creative ability and overall class to prove that he can fit in perfectly at the Nou Camp.

However, from a Liverpool perspective, while that’s a lot of money to go out and replace him, it’s never that simple. It’s easy to draw a comparison with Tottenham and Gareth Bale after he left in 2013, as it took many years for Spurs to find their feet and see that money pay dividends, and it would likely be a similar story for Liverpool as Coutinho’s quality will be difficult to replace.

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