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Jan 2, 2018


FC Barcelona will approach Liverpool with another attempt to sign Coutinho in the Winter Transfer window

The ongoing saga surrounding Barcelona's pursuit of Philippe Coutinho looks set to rumble on, with the latest developments taking a rather odd turn. New Year's Eve sent Liverpool fans into meltdown as sportswear giants Nike, who manufacture Barca's kits, advertised club shirts with Coutinho's name on the back, despite the fact that no deal has been agreed.


Coutinho was the subject of numerous bids by Barcelona last summer and he has been strongly linked with a move to Nou Camp in January.



The playmaker missed Monday's 2-1 victory at Burnley with a sore thigh, sparking rumours that the player was once again looking to engineer a move away from Anfield. Many bookmakers on the TitanBet bookmaker review website make Coutinho odds on to join Barca during this transfer window, but Liverpool are believed to want an astronomical fee for the player.



Barca's last bid of £115 million fell well short of Liverpool's valuation of the player, but their tough stance at that time led to Coutinho declaring himself unfit with a 'bad back'. If history is repeating itself, the Brazilian's behaviour bears some of the hallmarks of Sadio Mane's antics before he sealed his move from Southampton to Liverpool.


Mane was axed from the Saints side for their 1-0 defeat by Norwich in January 2016 after arriving late for a team meeting. He was accused of losing focus, although he eventually ended the campaign with 15 goals and nine assists in 43 appearances before agreeing his dream move. In fairness to Coutinho he has been one of the Premier League's stand-out performers since recovering from his 'back problem', but rumours of a move to the Nou Camp have refused to die down.


Both Luis Suarez and Paulinho are believed to have tried to persuade Coutinho to force through a move and his latest 'injury' could be the start of that process. Last summer's 'will he/won't he' saga didn't do Barcelona or Liverpool any favours, with the transfer wrangle proving to be an unwelcome sideshow for both clubs.As with most protracted transfer dealings it seems certain that Coutinho will eventually move on, but both sides need to resolve the issue quickly to avoid it becoming a distraction.


Barca are in with a realistic chance of success on three fronts, while Liverpool are also in the hunt for silverware, so a decision on Coutinho's future is needed sooner rather than later. If Liverpool insist on following Southampton's lead with Mane by forcing Coutinho to stay until the end of the season, then it's crucial they announce that decision as a matter of urgency so everyone knows where they stand. A month of further rumour and conjecture could be unsettling for both clubs and that is something that everyone involved should be keen to avoid.

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