Barcelona transfer news: Klopp shoots down Coutinho talk, Defender bid confirmed, and more - 5th January 2017
Jurgen Klopp gives no clarity over Philippe Coutinho's future
The Liverpool boss was quizzed on the future of Coutinho in his pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup clash with Merseyside rivals Everton. The German replied that the player will be available for the Manchester City game and said:
"I think he is in a bunch of available players for the City game on January 14. All the things I could say now will only create stories. I have nothing to say about it. I opened the door halfway because I mentioned it was the transfer window but there is nothing I can say about it which would help me, the player or the club."
On being probed further whether he has considered the possibility of replacing the Brazilian in this month, the former Borussia Dortmund boss replied:
"Whatever you can consider it is not my cup of tea. I really have nothing to say. Maybe 80 percent of the cameras are here for these answers - that's a waste of time then."
While Klopp neither confirms nor denies any move, Barcelona are reportedly preparing a mega bid worth £142 million to sign Coutinho, as per The Times. Now, if the bid value is indeed true, then it is on Liverpool and more specifically, Klopp, to take a call on whether they want an unhappy player or hold on to him to negotiate in the summer.
David Luiz rejected twice by Barcelona
The Chelsea star has seen his spot in the first-team taken by Andreas Christensen after he fell out with the Blues boss, Antonio Conte, several weeks back. While he recovered from a knee injury, Christensen has established himself in the heart of Chelsea defence and Luiz is now looking for pastures new with the World Cup on the horizon.
As a result, the Brazilian's entourage reportedly offered their client to Barcelona twice but were met with rejection both times as per Spanish news outlet, Mundo Deportivo. The Blaugrana feel Luiz will eye first-team football and would disrupt the current pairing of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.
Furthermore, the 30-year old will not come cheap as Chelsea will demand a considerable transfer fee while the report states that it would be difficult for the Spanish giant to pay his salary as well.
Thus, Ernesto Valverde is unwilling to go big on Luiz at this point with Coutinho being the prime target this month.
Bid for Yerry Mina confirmed
The 23-year old centre-back was set to join Barcelona in the summer for a fee around €8 million. However, Javier Mascherano's impending departure to Chinese side Hebei China Fortune implies that Valverde does not have enough defensive cover in the squad with only Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen available.
Hence, the Catalan club have decided to speed up the deal for Yerry Mina and sign him in January instead.
Now, Palmeiras sporting director Alexandre Mattos confirmed the bid but expressed their desire to keep the player until the summer. He told reporters in Brazil:
"It's true that Barcelona have come after Mina. It's true they are offering more money [to bring the deal forward to January] but it's also true that Palmeiras are not interested. We are going to wait for Mina to come back [from holidays] so that we can talk with him. Right now there is nothing new but if something [an offer] comes up that Palmerias like, we would study the situation. And if we have to change our mind, it will be done but If not, he will stay. "
Thus, Barcelona could still have a long way to go before signing the Colombian defender this month.