Liverpool fans were blessed with news of Virgil Van Dijk’s signing right after Christmas but they were also sent into panic mode when news surfaced that Philippe Coutinho will leave us this January itself. Now, we cannot say that we never saw this coming.
The player was poised to move to Barcelona last summer itself but the move did not materialise. Like a true professional, Coutinho took it in his stride and soldiered on for Liverpool and put in some truly spectacular performances.
However, with the January window up and running, the Catalan giants are understood to have come knocking again, only to get their man this time. If latest reports from Spain (h/t Metro) are to be believed, the player is on his way to Spain today and the deal is already done.
In fact, at this point, it is more a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. Barcelona will offer a sum in the region of £142million for the Brazilian playmaker and while that is quite a hefty amount, there is no doubt that Coutinho’s absence will create a massive void for us.
That said, moving to Barcelona is understood to have been a dream move for Coutinho. After reaching Spain, he is expected to be present at the club’s game against Levante tomorrow. Although everything seems done at this point, Barcelona chiefs are being tight-lipped about the move. Reports do state that the paperwork has been completed and that itself is a major indicator of the fact that Coutinho is close to completing the coveted move to Camp Nou.
The report also goes on to state that Coutinho has already bid farewell to his Liverpool teammates and will join Barcelona in training from Monday. If that happens, we might all see him in a Barcelona jersey for the first time when the Spanish giants play Celta Vigo next Wednesday.
While the situation looks good for the Catalans, the fact remains that we need to find a replacement for Coutinho, especially with reports suggesting that Emre Can could leave this summer. A move for Dani Ceballos is understood to be on the cards and with Naby Keita set to arrive in the summer, Liverpool might just make do with what they have.