Philippe Coutinho .

Barcelona believe there has been a breakthrough in their hopes of signing Philippe Coutinho

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The manner in which Philippe Coutinho has got his head down this season has been admirable.

Defying the trend set by Alexis Sanchez and a certain Virgil van Dijk, the Brazilian has remained committed to his current club despite his well-known desire to leave Liverpool for Barcelona.

This has quite possibly been his finest campaign yet, with 12 goals and eight assists in all competitions so far.

Should he stay at Anfield for the remainder of the season, he could have a huge impact on their top four and Champions League aspirations and rack up some impressive statistics along the way.

Yet, as every Reds fan is painfully aware, there's a very good chance all that will be curtailed in January.

Even though the playmaker is cup-tied in Europe, he remains high on Ernesto Valverde's wish list.

The Blaugrana are happy to pay Liverpool's reported asking price of €145 million (£127m), as per Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, and they are determined to wrap up a deal as soon as possible.

The saga dragged on in the summer and nobody wants a repeat of that.

This time around, at least according to Sport, Barca are much more confident of landing him. That's not because of anything that's changed at their end, but simply due to the fact that Jurgen Klopp has been backed in the market.

A boost for Barca's hopes

Virgil van Dijk will arrive in a £75m world record deal for a defender from Southampton and just six months later, Naby Keita will also be a Liverpool player, moving from RB Leipzig for £48m.

If Fenway Sports Group have been forking out that kind of money, it's likely they'll want to recoup some of it - which they can do in one fell swoop with the sale of their star midfielder.

It would also be much more reasonable to expect Klopp to operate without Coutinho now that he has strengthened the spine of his team elsewhere.

Liverpool v Swansea City - Premier League

Despite all this, the manager has admitted he isn't entirely comfortable with the sums being talked about over the past few months.

"It's a big change in football over a few months and years and we have to adapt to it," he told a press conference on Friday.

"That's how it is. it changed already. It doesn't mean all transfers will now be in this category but it's the same as it was before."

Should Liverpool finally sell Coutinho in January? Have your say in the comments. 

Philippe Coutinho

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