Wednesday 20 September 2017

'He is the ideal player for Barcelona' - Brazil coach Tite on Philippe Coutinho link to Barcelona

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on April 5, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on April 5, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Brazil manager Tite has labelled Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho as 'the ideal player' for Barcelona as the Spanish giants continue to be linked with a move for the 24-year-old.

Speaking to Spanish publication Sport, Tite, who took over as Brazil manager from Dunga last summer, said that Coutinho could thrive in a creative role in the Barcelona side and that he has spoken with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp about playing the player more centrally.

"Just to be clear, I'm talking hypothetically... There's Sergio [Busquets] and two articulators, Rakitic and Iniesta, who are the thinkers of the team," said Tite of Barcelona's current midfield.

"Coutinho could play that role. He is the ideal player for Barça. I don't want to be pretentious and give an opinion on Barça, but who wouldn't want a player like Coutinho?

"That magic, that capacity to invent and create something, that change of rhythm, the way he builds play... He's an articulator. He has his ideal position in both a 4-3-3 and a 4-4-2, as seen at Liverpool, where he supplies Mané and Firmino and creates alongside Lallana. I like players who have those qualities.

"I spoke with him and Klopp about the possibility [of playing centrally]. We need to create alternatives. Of course, there will be doubts. Will he be better-marked in the middle? Will you lose that element of surprise? We will only know when we use him there."

According to the same publication in May, Barcelona would have to better the terms of Coutinho's £200,000 a week deal at Anfield in order to entice him to come to the Camp Nou next season.

Coutinho signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool in January which will keep him at the club until June 2022.

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