Football

Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona are desperate to sign Coutinho in January for three separate reasons

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Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho looks very likely to join Barcelona - the only question remains whether it'll be in January or July.

According to various reports, Barcelona are preparing a new offer, including add-ons, worth £140m for the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher urged the club to agree a deal with Barca - but only let him leave at the end of the season.

"Best thing is agree the BIG fee for Coutinho to go in the summer like we’ve done with Keita, not now," said the Sky Sports pundit on Twitter.

"What do the club gain by doing it now? Top 4 & CL progression seriously risked if they sell in January and difficult to replace him now.

"If he goes on strike he damages himself."

He'll be ineligible to play in the Champions League but Barcelona seem intent on signing Coutinho in January, despite the fact they're running away with La Liga.

According to the Independent's chief football writer Miguel Delaney, the three reasons the Catalan giants don't want to wait for the summer are as follows:

Coutinho is desperate to join

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-LEICESTER

The Liverpool man handed in a transfer request in the summer in a bid to pressure the club to accept Barcelona's offer - and he still wants to link up with Leo Messi & co as soon as possible.

Barcelona want to keep their future star as happy as possible and intend to do so by completing his signing in January.

The World Cup could inflate his price

Coutinho is expected to star at the 2018 World Cup and Barca are worried that his price could be hugely inflated by good displays in Russia.

Barca had to fork out £75m to buy Luis Suarez from Liverpool whilst James Rodriguez cost Real Madrid a whopping £63m after the 2014 World Cup.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA

Andres Iniesta

Coutinho is being signed as Iniesta's long term replacement but there's also a short-term benefit of the Brazilian joining in January.

The Liverpool star will not be able to play in the Champions League knockout rounds for Barcelona but his presence in the squad will allow the 33-year-old necessary rests in La Liga.

Valencia v Barcelona - La Liga

Along with Mohamed Salah, Coutinho has been ruled out of Liverpool's Friday night FA Cup third round Merseyside derby against Everton.

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Topics:
Premier League
Philippe Coutinho
Barcelona
Football
Liverpool

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