It’s very unlikely that Barcelona will be able to sign Coutinho and instead will spend their money on another player, reckons Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.
There have been countless links in the media since the start of the season due to Coutinho’s brilliant form for Liverpool and Brazil, but Balague suggests this is pure speculation.
This is because Barcelona have Lionel Messi and Neymar in their ‘wide’ attacking positions and because Liverpool would charge an enormous fee for Coutinho’s services. (We actually believe the actual cost of our no.10 would far exceed the €70m Balague claims.)
“Barcelona love Coutinho but they have no strategy to sign him at the moment,” he told Sky Sports.
“Neymar would like them to sign him and Coutinho himself is interested in the fact that Barcelona have followed him.
“But at the moment, it’s all media talk.
“That’s because he’s a forward and he can play where Lionel Messi and Neymar play but they are both there. Coutinho can’t be a substitute of those. He’s also going to cost around 70 million euros and there is no buyout clause. This would mean a lot of negotiating with Liverpool.
“I don’t see it happening. Barcelona will spend their money somewhere else.”
On a separate note, Coutinho HAS made the trip to Southampton, ahead of our 3PM kick-off today.
He has a tight hamstring and it was touch and go whether he’d be involved at all, but the fact he’s travelled suggests he’ll at least be on the bench for the crunch Premier League clash.
If he isn’t ready to start, expect Daniel Sturridge to enter the front-three with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – which in truth – is still a pretty exciting attack.
Adam Lallana is not going to start though, which means both Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can will play alongside anchoring skipper Jordan Henderson.
Bring it on!