5 reasons why Barcelona want Philippe Coutinho in January instead of the summer
Why are Barcelona desperate to sign cup-tied Coutinho now?
What is it with FC Barcelona and transfer sagas? Almost every time the La Liga club target a high-profile player - especially from the Premier League - it ends up becoming a soap opera of sorts until the deal is finally complete. And in some cases, it takes more than a season to get the player's signature on the dotted line.
It started with Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas who was courted by literally everybody at the Catalan club. Then came Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. And now, it is the Reds involved again with Philippe Coutinho constantly linked with a move to the Camp Nou.
However, this is a transfer that could take place in January itself instead of the summer. Here's why.
#1 Barcelona want to consolidate La Liga
Let's start with the basics: Barcelona are top of the league with a nine-point lead. While that may be enough to write the others off as also-rans in a league such as La Liga, they have technically not yet reached the halfway point of the season.
The league season is only 17 games old (young?). Barcelona may be the only undefeated team but all it takes is an injury to one of their attacking stars to undo everything they have accomplished so far.
Which is why Coutinho's arrival would help them maintain that lead and possibly extend it. The club desperately need a goalscoring midfielder and Coutinho has scored 12 goals so far this season, not to mention grabbing 8 assists as well.
With plenty of matches coming up once the Copa del Rey and Champions League schedules clash, Barcelona will need all hands on deck to win back their league crown.