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Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona have a master plan for Andres Iniesta if they sign Coutinho in January

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Now that Liverpool have secured the £75 million signing of Virgil van Dijk, there are rumours they could recuperate that money by selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Coutinho is a long-term target for the Blaugrana and reports suggest they will launch another bid in January having failed in their pursuit over the summer.

A fee in the region of £135 million has been touted and according to Spanish outlet Sport, Coutinho's agents are due to meet with Barcelona on January 3 to begin negotiations.

Understandably, Barcelona want to thrash out a deal rather than spend another transfer window playing tug-of-war with Liverpool.

Coutinho's potential arrival would massively improve Barcelona's midfield but also heighten competition for places, which Paulinho doesn't seem bothered by.

In fact, the Brazilian has advised his countryman to stay calm amidst the rumours and that he wouldn't regret swapping Anfield for the Camp Nou.

"If he comes, he will not regret it," said Paulinho. "I have advised Coutinho to stay calm. He can feel frustrated at not having been able to come this summer. Be patient."

One topic up for discussion is what will happen to Andres Iniesta should Coutinho arrive as expected in January.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

Coutinho is widely regarded as Iniesta's heir at Barcelona and because they both play in the same position, it's possible only one of them will be able to start.

Well, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barca already have a master plan up their sleeve that benefits both Iniesta and Coutinho.

Because Coutinho has already played in the Champions League for Liverpool this season and won't be able to for Barcelona, Iniesta will resume his role and stay focused on Europe.

Coutinho will then play most La Liga and cup matches, giving Iniesta the rest he needs to stay sharp in the latter stages of the Champions League.

It's a smart solution for Barcelona and one that will hopefully keep Coutinho and Iniesta happy.

Iniesta remains one of the world's best in his position, but at 33-years-old his body and fitness must be preserved, especially as fixtures start to cluster.

Barcelona are still competing on all fronts this season and having Coutinho in their ranks will help spread the load.

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Topics:
Football
Andres Iniesta
Barcelona
Philippe Coutinho
La Liga
UEFA Champions League

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