PSG are reportedly considering a move to sign Philippe Coutinho next summer, with Barcelona interested in the Liverpool playmaker as well.
According to a report in Spanish publication Sport, PSG are set to spark a new battle with Barcelona, this time for the signature of Philippe Coutinho. Les Parisiens are keen on signing the Liverpool playmaker next summer, although the Brazilian is eager to move to Camp Nou.
Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013, and has slowly established himself as a pivotal figure at Anfield. The last two seasons, in particular, have seen the player’s stock skyrocket as he took the mantle of leading the Reds’ attack, bagging 21 goals and 12 assists in 57 Premier League appearances.
The two successful campaigns led to an increase in interest for the player’s services, with Barcelona, in particular, tailing him throughout the summer, albeit unsuccessfully so. Despite failing to land Coutinho this past summer though, the Blaugrana continue to remain interested and will reportedly make another move for him.
Widespread reports have suggested that Barcelona view Coutinho as the long-term successor to Andres Iniesta who, despite recently signing a lifetime deal with the club, is slowly approaching the end of his glittering career.
Neymar has asked PSG to sign Coutinho, both Paris & Barcelona are fighting for his signature (sport) pic.twitter.com/vHyAnTAQXa
— Brazil Football 🇧🇷 (@BrazilEdition) October 8, 2017
Having failed to fill the huge void left by the departure of Xavi in 2015, the Catalan club are eager to not repeat the same mistake again, and have started making the preparations for when Iniesta calls it a day. Therefore, they will continue to seek a deal for Coutinho, although they now have a rival in his pursuit.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, on the request of Neymar, has sanctioned a move for Coutinho, with the club’s Sporting Director Antero Henrique and Sporting Co-ordinator Maxwell having already established contact with the player’s agents.
However, with a riches of attacking talents already at Unai Emery’s disposal, the interest in Coutinho does come as a bit of a surprise. The report though, suggests that either of Angel Di Maria or Lucas Moura is likely to be offloaded to make room for the Brazilian, with Julian Draxler expected to be sold as well.
PSG also have another major stumbling block in their pursuit of Coutinho – Financial Fair Play. Having already made a big money move for Neymar, and the deal for Kylian Mbappe set to come into effect next summer, FFP regulations will not allow Les Parisiens to make a January move for the Brazilian.
Barcelona are looking to take advantage of PSG’s predicament, and are weighing up a move for Coutinho in the winter transfer window. It now remains to be seen if the Blaugrana manage to finally land their target man in January, or have to battle PSG next summer for his signature.
Coutinho, though, is believed to be more keen on making the switch to Camp Nou instead of Parc des Princes, having also handed a transfer request to Liverpool for the same in the summer, thereby handing the La Liga club a distinct advantage.