Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho talks about potential move, Neymar invited to join Madrid and more - 8th December 2017
Philippe Coutinho talks about potential move
The Liverpool No. 10 has been targetted by Barcelona since last summer and the Spanish club had three bids rejected for the Brazilian. However, the Blaugrana are relentless in their pursuit of the star, who highlighted his ability with a brilliant hat-trick for Jurgen Klopp's side against Spartak Moscow in their recent Champions League game.
Coutinho was quizzed about his future after the match and he told Sky Sports:
"I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters.”
“I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.”
“Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire.”
In recent weeks, Klopp remained uncertain about Coutinho's future which could very well signal the end of the Brazilian's tenure at Anfield. On the other hand, Barcelona can finally breathe a sigh of relief having moved one step closer to securing their top target.
Real Madrid president talks about Neymar
Real Madrid club president Florentino Perez opened up about his interest in bringing former Barcelona superstar Neymar to the Bernabeu. While Barcelona will very likely be interested in the Brazilian if he does decide to move, Perez has made a strong case for Neymar to join the Blaugrana's arch-rivals. He told Cadena Sar:
"Being at Madrid would make it easier [for Neymar] to win the Ballon d'Or. Madrid is a club that gives big players what they need. That's what I think. I don't know how many Ballon d'Or winners PSG have had. I think very few because PSG are a club which have grown a lot recently but all clubs have the right to want Ballon d'Or winners in their squad,"
"We will see. Everyone knew that I wanted to sign him at some point [before he joined Barcelona from Santos]. Football is like that. Sometimes you can do some things and sometimes you can't. But we are happy with Cristiano Ronaldo. I think that he is the heir to Alfredo Di Stefano, it's an honour to count on a player as good as him."
If Neymar returns to Spain, there is no doubt that a deal with Madrid will hurt Ernesto Valverde's side on several levels.
Messi is okay with Mascherano leaving in January
Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano have been friends for a while now courtesy their time at Barcelona as well as the Argentina national team. However, the latter is now nearing the end of his career and at 33 years of age, is no longer a first-choice in Valverde's lineup. While Messi was reportedly distraught at the prospect of one of his friends leaving, he has finally come to terms with the situation. Messi told TyC Sport:
"I understand [if he decides to leave] and I talked to him about it, I am not going to say what he told me but I understand that he wants to play more. He is in his last year [and a half of his contract] and wants to play more.
"He wants to end up playing and not being on the bench, even if it is the one of Barcelona. Obviously I understand him. The most beautiful thing is to play and enjoy the games. He sees that he does not have that possibility here, that he hasn't got the minutes that he wants and and it is understandable that he wants to go and look for them elsewhere.
"We're both going to miss each other [if he leaves]. We have been many years together both here [at Barcelona] and in the national team. But I understand his situation and obviously I respect him. If he decides [to leave] is fine."
This could possibly prove to be the end for Mascherano at Barcelona with Mundo Deportivo reporting that an unnamed Chinese club are interested in the player.