Barcelona are reportedly keen on bolstering their options in midfield with the signing of Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho.
That’s according to Spanish website Fichajes (h/t Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo) who report the interest of the European champions.
If a deal was to go ahead, Coutinho would be the second player to trade Merseyside for Catalonia in the space of two seasons, after Barcelona signed Luis Suarez from Liverpool in the summer of 2014.
It’d be a major blow for the Reds if the Blaugrana were to make a move for the playmaker. But it wouldn’t be a surprise after some sparkling performances in the iconic red shirt.
Although Liverpool haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons, Coutinho’s willingness to take responsibility, as is evident by WhoScored.com, has been one of the most encouraging facets:
But like Suarez, like Raheem Sterling who was sold last summer, as much as the former Internazionale man loves playing at Anfield, he’s a player who will have eyes for the very top. There are few in world football who would spurn the advances of a club such as Barcelona either.
He certainly boasts the talents to fit right in at the Camp Nou too. Not only is the Brazilian a wonderful passer of the ball, but his technical ability, long-range shooting and in-game intelligence set him apart from a lot of other midfield players. As we can see here, courtesy of Squawka Football, he loves to commit defenders, too:
Having signed a new contract earlier this year, Liverpool could command a massive fee for the player’s services. There are few on Merseyside who would want to bid farewell to such an enchanting footballer, but sadly, as the sales of Sterling and Suarez have shown, there is a precedent for letting key players leave the club for the right money.
Divock Origi Loan Deal Discussed
According to Dean Jones of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool may look at loaning Divock Origi out in January if Daniel Sturridge can preserve his fitness.
After signing for the Reds from Lille and then being loaned back last season, the Belgium international has failed to make any impression in the early weeks of the season.
If Sturridge, who returned to the starting XI for the 1-1 draw against Norwich, can keep fit going forward, his chances are likely to be even more at a premium.
As noted here by Squawka, even when Origi did get a chance in the Europa League, he failed to take it:
But a loan move would be peculiar given the amount of games Liverpool will have to negotiate.
The Europa League will put plenty of strain on the squad, and you suspect it’s that competition in which Origi will be handed plenty of opportunities. Do well in those games and he could be pushing for a first-team start.
A side like Liverpool challenging for the Champions League spots should have four strikers in the squad anyway. Letting Origi go would chop those choices down, with one of the options being the perennially injured Sturridge.
So while the Reds will be keen to see Origi get some game time, loaning him out mid-season without bringing in a replacement would make little sense.