Thursday 23 January 2020

Good news for Liverpool as Barcelona reportedly turn their attentions away from Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho is wanted by Barcelona. Photo: PA
Philippe Coutinho is wanted by Barcelona. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Barcelona are reported to have made Juventus playmaker Paulo Dybala their top transfer target as they look to replace the departed Neymar - and that might be good news for Liverpool in their bid to hang on to Philippe Coutinho.

Reports emanating from Italy and Spain suggest Argentine star Dybala has shot to the top of Barcelona’s wanted list, as they look to fill the void left by the €222m sale of Neymar.

The Catalans are also interested in Borussia Dortmunbd's Ousmane Dembele.

Eyebrows were raised when Coutinho was omitted from the Liverpool squad that flew to Dublin for a friendly against Atletico Bilao on Saturday, yet club officials insisted that was merely a precaution as they player is suffering form a minor back problem.

Yet Liverpool are believed to have firmly rebuffed Barcelona’s initial moves to sign Coutinho, with their unequivocal stance leaving officials at the Catalan club to conclude they will struggle to sign the Brazilian playmaker this summer.

Coutinho has yet to make any public comment on the prospect of joining Barcelona, even though he has hinted in the past that he may be tempted by an offer to move to the Spanish giants.

However, Coutinho only signed a new Liverpool contract in January and his manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that his club will not consider any offer for Coutinho this month.

That may have persuaded them to turn their attentions to Dybala, amid suggestions that Barcelona star Lionel Messi has urged his club to try and sign his compatriot in a deal that may be worth in excess of £100m in this inflated summer transfer market.

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