In Brief

Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho has ‘played last game’ for Liverpool

Brazilian playmaker keen to move to Spain during January transfer window

With the January transfer window fully open, there are rumours flying left, right and centre - not least about the future of Philippe Coutinho.

The Liverpool midfielder has been tipped for a move to Barcelona since last summer and is expected to join the Spanish giants this year, although it remains unclear whether he’ll go in the coming weeks or in July.

According to The Independent, the 25-year-old’s representatives are “continuing with their efforts to convince Liverpool to allow the Brazilian playmaker to leave this month”. 

The Camp Nou outfit want to complete the move as soon as possible, but the Reds are reportedly keen to keep Coutinho at Anfield for the rest of the season.

The South American may do exactly that, since he wouldn’t be able to play for Barcelona in the Champions League knockout phase if he moves now, but would be able to play in the tournament with Liverpool.

The Independent says that the Reds haven’t received an offer from the Spanish club and believe they will be able to ward off their interest until next summer. Nonetheless, the newspaper quotes a source within the Camp Nou who claims that Coutinho would “do anything in the world” to join Barcelona.

The Times claims that Coutinho “believes he has played his last game” for Liverpool, although the paper says that will only be the case if Barcelona table a bid in the region of £133m - considerably more than the £110m they are believed to have offered the Reds in August. 

Meanwhile, the Daily Express says Spanish sources have claimed that Andres Iniesta could quit the club if Coutinho arrives this month. 

The veteran midfielder has been struggling to nail down a place in the Barcelona line-up this season, and Spanish website Diario Gol says that the 33-year-old is concerned that situation will only deteriorate if there’s a new addition to the team.

Desperate to play for his country in the impending World Cup, Iniesta “has reportedly told Barcelona he will leave the Nou Camp should Coutinho arrive”.

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