With ‘Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona’ rumours getting dragged week after week, Spanish news outlet Don Balon has now claimed that Jurgen Klopp will demand Gerard Deulofeu in exchange when Barcelona return for Coutinho in January transfer window.
Barcelona have been very open about their pursuit of Coutinho and have already seen three bids for the Brazilian get rejected. Despite all this, the club themselves have conceded that they will return in January with renewed hopes of signing their prime target.
“We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market, or any player the technical staff request,” Barcelona’s chief executive Oscar Grau was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph.
Coutinho, on his part, has been keen on moving to Barcelona, but saw Liverpool play hardball during the summer. However, with Barcelona ready to attempt a second raid on Liverpool, Klopp has reportedly identified former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu as a replacement of Coutinho.
Deulofeu spent three years with Everton, but had an utterly unproductive spell. He was ineffective most of the time and it is certainly hard to see him filling Coutinho’s boots at Anfield.
Barcelona activated their buy-back clause to re-sign Deulofeu this summer but the Spaniard has only managed a goal and an assist in 7 league outings. Barcelona are certainly short in numbers despite signing Ousmane Demebele this summer, hence, we can expect a heavy transfer activity from the Catalonians.
Recently, both Sport and Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barcelona’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez and club scout Urbano Ortega attended Liverpool’s game against Tottenham at Wembley and that both were actually keeping tabs on Coutinho. Furthermore, Mundo Deportivo has even claimed that Barcelona “have an agreement” with Coutinho since last summer transfer window.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian is reportedly expected to meet Liverpool officials in coming days in order to sanction his client’s ‘€80m (£71.3m) plus €30m in add-ons’ move to Spain. But given how Deulofeu has performed in his career so far, the rumour of him moving to Anfield can be dismissed without the slightest of doubts. However, it now remains to be seen what lies next for Coutinho.