Coutinho to Barca: Will Blaugrana Stump Up The Cash?

It was a transfer saga which rumbled on throughout the summer of 2017 with Liverpool's talented midfielder Philippe Coutinho continually linked with a move to Barcelona. The Brazilian admitted that he was keen on the move but the Premier League side remained obstinate and the proposed move eventually broke down. The Reds have reportedly put a price tag of £132m (€150m) on their star midfielder but will the Blaugrana stump up the cash or will they choose to look elsewhere?

Source: Futbol Portal via Twitter

Coutinho's ability and eye for a pass would undoubtedly prove a terrific addition to Ernesto Valverde's side and he continues to create numerous chances for his teammates at Liverpool. He became the first Brazilian in the Premier League to claim 30 assists so it's understandable that Jurgen Klopp is keen to retain the stylish playmaker.

Barca's reported £114m offer was rebuffed in August and it is believed that the hierarchy are considering an increased bid in January. The La Liga leaders have been linked with a number of other players including Arsenal's Mezut Ozil and surprisingly Chelsea winger Eden Hazard but Coutinho still appears to be amongst their primary targets.

Valverde will be looking to strengthen his squad once the January transfer window opens with the club competing in the Champions League, Copa Del Rey and La Liga. Barcelona are currently four points clear of Valencia at the top of the table with Real Madrid now trailing their rivals by eight points. As a result of their dominance, Barcelona are now 2/7 favourites in the La Liga betting markets with Zinedine Zidane's side priced at 7/2 to overturn that deficit despite recent inconsistent form.

Source: BarcaSpiral via Twitter

If the club were to land Phillipe Coutinho, it would be the biggest transfer in the history of the football club and as a result, the midfielder would have plenty to prove at the Nou Camp. Summer signing Ousmane Dembele commanded a huge fee in order to take him away from Borussia Dortmund but has subsequently missed four months of the season with a hamstring injury. He is set to make his return to the team in December.

Many Barcelona fans see Coutinho as the natural successor to the imperious Andres Iniesta whose first team commitments appear to be gradually decreasing as he approaches his 35th birthday. Supporters are urging the club to do everything in their power to land the Brazilian but Barcelona chiefs are understandably concerned about the possibility of another cat-and-mouse chase throughout January.

Some Spanish newspapers have reported that personal terms between the player and club have already been agreed and Coutinho has previously stated his desire to play for the Catalan giants. The disagreement over the transfer fee could boil down to around €5m difference as the two clubs continue negotiations in the hope of thrashing out a deal.

Fans of both sides will be desperate for the transfer saga to reach its conclusion in January but Barcelona need to stump up the cash in order to land their target. Liverpool continue to hold the Blaugrana to ransom but they must be careful as Barca could easily be tempted to look elsewhere if the Reds continue to move the goalposts.