Reports: Barcelona's 3-man shortlist of Philippe Coutinho's alternatives revealed
What's the story?
Barcelona have been chasing Philippe Coutinho for the entire summer and as we approach the final hours of the transfer window, a transfer is yet to be agreed. Liverpool have maintained their stance that they will not be willing to let go of their prized assets and have rejected bids well in excess of £100m.
Now, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the Blaugrana have penned down a three-man shortlist to make a last ditch attempt to get a superstar in before the transfer windos shuts. According to the report, the three players that Barcelona have shortlisted as alternatives to Philippe Coutinho are Antoine Griezmann, Paulo Dybala and Thomas Lemar.
In case you didn’t know…
Barcelona consider Philippe Coutinho to be the long term replacement for Andreas Iniesta, who is slowly but surely entering the twilight of his career.
Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013 and has since gone on to make over 180 appearances for the Reds, scoring 42 goals.
The Brazilian has his heart set on a move to Barcelona and the 25-year-old even handed in a transfer request, which was swiftly rejected by the Reds. Apart from that, Liverpool have rejected a couple of bids from Barcelona, well in excess of £100m.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona appear to have finally given up on their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho but it just may be too little too late.
Paulo Dybala has long been linked with a move to Barcelona, as he is universally considered to be the heir of Lionel Messi's crown in Argentina.
Antoine Griezmann was close to quitting Atletico Madrid, earlier in the window, as a move to Manchester United loomed but the transfer collapsed after the Vicente Calderon outfit were handed a transfer ban. It seems unlikely that the Frenchman will be moving in this transfer window.
Thomas Lemar has long been linked with a move to Arsenal but Arsene Wenger insisted that Monaco have shut the door on any move for the Frenchman. Liverpool have also expressed their interest in the 22-year-old and have had a couple of bids rejected by Monaco. It is believed that Monaco will sell if they received a bill in the region of €100m.
A move for Philippe Coutinho looks unlikely and it appears Barcelona have realized that and have moved for the alternatives. A move for Thomas Lemar or Paulo Dybala is possible, albeit the chances are very low, and would require the Catalan giants to shell out in excess of €100m fee.