Philippe Coutinho has been linked heavily to Barcelona but the Catalans have reportedly ceded their interest in the Liverpool midfielder.
There’s been no shortage of speculation surrounding Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in recent times with Barcelona being sounded off as the most likely destination should the midfielder consider a move. However reputed Spanish pundit Guillem Balague, speaking to Sky Sports, doesn’t think the Catalans are interested in the Brazilian.
Although Coutinho is touching great heights with his performances for Liverpool, Balague thinks that he isn’t the player Luis Enrique’s side are looking for, at least for the upcoming summer.
He concedes that while Barcelona will certainly pursue a midfield prospect, having been linked with PSG’s Marco Verratti and even Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen in recent weeks. However, the club aren’t willing to pay the price that Liverpool are commanding for Coutinho.
Moreover, the 24-year-old fits more into the mould of an attacker than a midfielder as evidenced by his exploits this campaign. The Catalans though, are in no shortage of attacking talent up front as they house arguably the most lethal trio in world football in the form of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
With an attack sorted, Barcelona are on the look out for reinforcments in other areas of the park especially in centre-back and in right-back with the club yet to find a suitable replacement for Dani Alves, who departed last summer to Juventus.
Hence Balague claims that it’s Coutinho’s entourage that is making all the noise and working hard towards a move to the Camp Nou with all the hype and speculation for a transfer that’s unlikely to happen this summer.
The 24-year-old was voted the club’s Player of the Season for the last two consecutive terms and was only beaten to it this time around by Sadio Mane. In 35 matches this campaign, he has netted 13 times – the first time he has touched double figures in league goals in his career, in addition to 9 assists.
Despite patches of inconsistency, Jurgen Klopp has placed his trust on him on and off the field to return to form and that has certainly helped the former Inter Milan midfielder touch peak form again.
While all is said and done, Liverpool need to fulfill their end of the bargain as well, which is silverware. A primary reason why Coutinho could be enticed by a move to Barcelona could be a lack of silverware as is the case with many stars that have taken the exit door at Anfield in the past.
So Klopp will have to bring trophies down to Anfield soon and fast if he is to be able to retain his star players in the future. And who knows, should the Reds be able to knockdown a few pieces of silverware next season, Coutinho may well change his mind and stay at Anfield for the long-term future.