Bad news, Liverpool fans. Those Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona rumours are resurfacing.
The Reds managed to fend the Spanish giants off in the summer, rejecting three bids for Coutinho, but Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau has revealed that the La Liga club are ready to launch a new bid for the playmaker in January.
"We are ready to sign Coutinho or any other player the technical staff request in the winter window," Grau said on Wednesday, per Sky Sports.
"We want to have the most competitive squad possible.”
It’s hardly surprising that Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho hasn’t wavered. The 25-year-old has scored in three straight matches for Liverpool and deserves attention from Europe’s biggest clubs.
Balague doesn't think it'll happen in January
Yet despite Grau’s comments, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague remains doubtful that Barça will actually submit a bid for the Brazilian in January.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen in January, I don’t think they’ve got intention of making it in January,” Balague told Sky Sports, per the Express.
“The words of Oscar Grau were ‘if we had to pay for him, we’ve got the money for him’.”
Liverpool made their stance clear when they rejected Coutinho’s transfer request and rebuffed Barcelona’s bids of £72 million, £90.3m and £118m.
What Liverpool have said to Barcelona
It’s likely the Anfield club will be upset with Grau’s comments having written to Barcelona urging them to stop trying to unsettle Coutinho.
That is according to Paul Joyce of The Times, who is knowledgeable when it comes to all matters Liverpool.
It's easy to see why Barcelona want Coutinho so badly
Barcelona’s summer interest appeared to have an affect on Coutinho. The midfielder missed Liverpool’s opening matches of the new season due to a reported back injury, only to score for Brazil when he joined up with the Selecao for international duty.
But Coutinho has shown in recent weeks just why Liverpool are desperate to keep hold of him, scoring against Leicester City, Spartak Moscow and Newcastle United.
Yet with the Reds seventh in the Premier League, and showing little evidence that the defence is on the rise, there will always be a part of Coutinho that has eyes on a move to the Camp Nou.