Report: Barca prepare bid for Liverpool star Coutinho
Barcelona are ready to make a £22.25million bid for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho in January, according to reports in Spain.
The Brazilian has been a major success at Liverpool since signing from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January 2013, but his future has been at the center of speculation ever since former skipper Steven Gerrard suggested the player will be a future player for Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Spanish publication Sport now claims Barcelona will launch a 30million euros bid (£22.25m) for the player when the transfer window opens in January.
Liverpool would likely reject the offer out of hand, but that is not likely to deter Barca, who can sign players again in January after an 18-month transfer ban was imposed on them in the summer of 2014.
The club have endured an indifferent start to the season, having lost two of their opening seven games in La Liga.
The club is also without talisman Lionel Messi for up to two months after he tore ligaments in his knee.
Coutinho himself insists he’s happy to stay at Anfield, despite Brazil team-mate Neymar’s efforts to persuade him to move to the Nou Camp, saying on Friday: "I heard what Neymar said on the internet but I want to do well with Liverpool. I am happy here and I hope this season will go well for us.
"Of course it is a nice thing he said. Everyone knows he’s my friend. But I’m here and focused on Liverpool to help them do good things on the pitch, starting with beating Everton on Sunday.
"It is a big match because our start to the season has not been good. But we won the last league game against Aston Villa and it’s important that we keep that winning feeling going.
"We know we have to play better but it is still the beginning of a long season and we are calm. I don’t listen much to the bad things. We are focused on the pitch to do well and do good things.
"I am totally focused on Liverpool."