Reports: Barcelona to seal move for £132 million superstar in January
What's the story?
Barcelona's emphatic win over tough ol' Athletic Bilbao at San Mames extended their lead over Real Madrid to 8 points (though Madrid play later tonight with the opportunity to reel it back to 5 points), but Ernesto Valverde and Josep Bartomeu aren't done just yet with their squad
They may have been resoundingly rejected in the summer, but the good folk over at the Mirror believe that Barcelona are all set to seal a move for Phillippe Coutinho for Liverpool's asking price of £132 million (€150 million), and the Anfield based club's owners are in turn ready to allow Klopp to invest the entire amount in rebuilding the team.
In case you didn't know
The summer - although headlined by the stunning exit of Neymar from Barcelona after PSG triggered his €200 million release clause - was dominated by the Coutinho saga, with the player desperately wanting a move, Barcelona even announcing that they were close to signing him, and Liverpool steadfastly refusing to let the star man go... he then went on to miss the opening few games for Liverpool in the Champions League qualification rounds and the Premier League due to back strain, an injury that however did not stop him from playing for Brazil during the first international break of the season.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona, though they signed Ousmane Dembele, Paulinho, Nelson Semeido and got back Gerard Delafeou in the summer, never gave up on Coutinho - a player they feel is a perfect fit for the side and their famous philosophy... with Andres Iniesta's knees creaking as age catches up with the lithe sprite, the Catalans believe that Coutinho is his natural heir.
It has been reported across the Spanish and UK media that Coutinho assured Klopp of performing to the highest standard - if the club were to
And here's why...
Boy, that Brazilian can play, eh?
Philippe Coutinho may be cup-tied in Europe but what with La Liga being more fiercely competitive than ever, Barcelona would love to be able to rotate between him and Iniesta for domestic and European competition, and if Klopp feels Coutinho's heart is not in it anymore, he may well be advised to take the money and re-invest in getting Virgil van Dijk or a defensive-minded midfielder or two to shore up that leaky defence.