Barcelona have reportedly revived their interest in Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has re-emerged as the subject of Barcelona’s interest. The Catalan giants are reportedly pondering a move for either him, or Paris Saint Germain’s Marco Verratti.
The report states that Verratti and Coutinho, both 24, are the two main players being considered to reinforce their midfield. The club are reportedly deciding whether they want a player of the Brazilian’s playing style or the Italian’s as they begin to prepare for a future without Iniesta.
In March, Spanish journalist Guillem stated that Barcelona were not interested in signing the 24-year-old in the coming summer but if Moises Lorens of AS is to believed, then the Catalan giants have revived their interest in him and swoop for him in the summer.
The Brazilian was heavily linked with a move away from Anfield last summer to the likes of Barcelona and PSG, but a move never materialised and in January, the Reds managed to tie him down to a long term contract which will see him stay at the club till 2022.
A few months ago, his compatriot Neymar revealed that he was the one Premier League player he would like to have at Barcelona and insisted that he thought Coutinho would ‘totally fit’ at the Nou Camp alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
However, in January, Coutinho insisted that he never entertained the idea of moving away from Merseyside to Barcelona or China, saying “China, no. I am not interested. I don’t think about that, not for one moment. My football is here. My heart is here. I don’t think about any other club. Not at all.”
Besides a midfielder, the La Liga Champions are also reportedly looking for a left and right back in the summer and plan to raise €100 million in funds to secure their targets, which include Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Atletico Madrid leftback Theo Hernandez, currently on loan at Alaves.
Coutinho has emerged as a key player for the Reds over the course of the past two campaigns and has no established himself as Liverpool’s best player and one of the best young midfielders in the world.
This season, he has already amassed 11 goals and 8 assists and is one short of matching last season’s tally of 12 goals. Despite a missing out on a portion of the campaign after picking up an injury, he has remained their best and most influential player.
Having only signed a new 5-year-contract, Coutinho won’t come cheap for the Catalans but Barcelona will be keen to avoid a repeat of this season in the next campaign and the sales of Arda Turan and Jeremy Mathieu should go someway in raising funds for their targets.