Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Objective Coutinho': Liverpool star targeted by Barcelona after another stellar display blows Argentina away

Published 11/11/2016 | 09:30

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 10: Philippe Coutinho #11, Neymar #10 and Gabriel Jesus #9 of Brazil celebrates a scored goal against Argentina during a match between Brazil and Argentina as part 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier at Mineirao stadium on November 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 10: Philippe Coutinho #11, Neymar #10 and Gabriel Jesus #9 of Brazil celebrates a scored goal against Argentina during a match between Brazil and Argentina as part 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier at Mineirao stadium on November 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

For the second time in a few seasons, Barcelona are becoming increasingly interested in one of Liverpool's attacking stars.

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Luis Suarez swapped Anfield for the Nou Camp after a sensational 31-goal league campaign propelled Liverpool agonisingly close to the Premier League title in 2014, with his performances securing a big money move to Spanish giants after the end of that season.

In the Uruguayan's absence, Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho has developed into Liverpool's most explosive forward, with last night giving us another example of his increasing quality.

Coutinho starred for Brazil in their 3-0 demolition of arch-rivals Argentina, slamming home a trademark screamer from the edge of the box to put his country in front.

Such spectacular strikes have become the norm for a player who doesn't seem capable of scoring an ordinary goal, and the Spanish press are reporting that Coutinho has caught the eye of Barcelona as a result.

The Sport newspaper has the Liverpool midfielder on their front page, with the headline - easily translated even for those without a syllable of Spanish - of 'Objectivo Coutinho'.

They explain that Barcelona are very interested in bringing the Brazilian to the Nou Camp to join up with Suarez, Lionel Messi and Coutinho's compatriot Neymar.

Liverpool will be keen to hold onto their 24-year-old star, with Coutinho an integral part of a multi-faceted attack that is tearing Premier League defences to shreds at the moment, with the Reds currently sitting top of the table.

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