It seems certain now that Philippe Coutinho is set to leave Liverpool for Barcelona in January.
Recent reports have claimed that the deal is imminent and that the Brazilian will sit out of Reds’ FA Cup tie against Merseyside-rivals Everton.
According to Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague, Liverpool have also softened their stance over their 25-year-old star, and they are ready to talk to the Catalans.
Balague claims that the Catalans, who comfortably sit at the summit of La Liga, will soon make an offer worth (€110m+£40m) for Coutinho. It remains to be seen whether that offer would be deeed sufficient by the Reds, who themselves have spent massively on Virgil van Dijk this month.
The Spanish journalist has also suggested that Liverpool would want to sign Coutinho’s replacement, and might consider calling Naby Keita from RB Leipzig early.
What we know on Coutinho: Barcelona will make an offer (€110m+£40m) which are preparing (not sent yet). LFC have soften their stand and ideally they would want a replacement (Keita early?). He wants to go now and won't play in FA Cup. But that is it… for now pic.twitter.com/9iUj4nralS
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 3, 2018
Coutinho’s departure will definitely leave a big hole in Jurgen Klopp’s side, and club-legend Jamie Carragher has advised the club against letting the player leave in January.
Best thing @LFC is agree the BIG fee for Coutinho to go in the summer like we’ve done with Keita, not now. What do the club gain by doing it now? Top 4 & CL progression seriously risked if they sell in Jan, & difficult to replace him now. If he goes on strike he damages himself.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 3, 2018
The Brazilian’s departure would surely put dampen the celebrations surrounding Van Dijk’s arrival at Anfield. However, following the last summer, it was only a matter of time, and, now the only question that remains is whether he will leave now or in the summer?