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Rivaldo endorses 'good option' Coutinho as Barcelona begin life without Neymar

3.88K   //    12 Aug 2017, 00:04 IST
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho would be a good replacement for Neymar at Barcelona, according to former Camp Nou star Rivaldo.

The Liverpool attacking midfielder has reportedly handed in a transfer request at Anfield after the club made it clear they would not sell him to Barca, who are seeking a replacement for Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain paid a world-record €222million to meet the Brazil forward's release clause last week, a move Rivaldo hopes will ultimately improve his old club's spirit and resolve. 

Rivaldo believes Coutinho, 25, would be a good addition and also feels some of the cash should be used on another Brazilian target of Barcelona, Guanghzou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho.

"Neymar has left for PSG but, despite his importance to the team, I believe Barca will deal with it," the former World Cup winner said to Betfair.

"It could even reinforce team spirit, showing that players can come and go, but Barca will stay at the top.

"Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho could be a good option to play at Neymar's position but former Spurs man Paulinho could also be an important addition at the centre of the pitch."

Rivaldo is in no doubt Neymar's desire to win the Ballon d'Or played a part in his decision to leave Barca.

He added: "It was a tough decision for [Neymar] and his main objective - beside the financial aspect, of course - is to become the best player in the world, leaving his status as Lionel Messi's shadow.

"For Barcelona, it's an important financial income that allows them to breathe much easier and also to try new signings."

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