Liverpool’s main creative force could be on his way out of Anfield in the summer, as reports emerging from Spain claim that Philippe Coutinho has emerged as Barcelona’s prime transfer target.
The Catalan giants are expected to try to prise the Brazilian schemer from Merseyside in a multi-million pound deal that would greatly impact Liverpool’s plans to move forward under Jurgen Klopp.
Despite struggling to return to peak sharpness since recently returning from injury, Coutinho has been an inspirational player for the Reds since joining from Inter Milan in 2013 (after a successful loan spell in Spain for Espanyol).
The 24-year-old signed a new five-year deal with Liverpool in January. Yet, comments made this week by fellow Brazilian and current Barcelona star Neymar about Coutinho’s suitability for the Camp Nou side, suggest that Barcelona could be up to their old tricks again in the transfer market, with the Spanish giants well-known for using its players to speak positively in the media about potential recruits.
And, according to the Spanish publication Sport (via The Sun), Coutinho is one of three main transfer targets for the summer, along with a right-back and versatile defender. The publication also claims that Coutinho and his representatives are enthusiastic about making the move happen.
The former Vasco da Gama man and his Liverpool teammates are facing into the Merseyside derby next weekend as Klopp’s charges look to continue the push for a top four finish.
Everton, meanwhile, will be without influential Republic of Ireland defender Seamus Coleman, who suffered a broken leg in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Wales.
The Toffees also have injury doubts over midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who came off injured in the first half of the Blues’ most recent Premier League victory against Hull City.
Kevin O’Neill, Pundit Arena
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