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The long-running saga of Coutinho was finally brought to an end earlier on Monday when Barcelona paraded their club-record signing – with Philippe Coutinho becoming the third most expensive player in history. Barcelona will pay Liverpool an estimated €120million up front – with a further €40million in incentives and add-ons – meaning only Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have cost more in the history of the game.

However, the arrival of the 25-year-old may force Ivan Rakitic out of the club. The Croatia international has been a regular ever since arriving from Sevilla in the summer of 2014, helping Barcelona win two La Liga titles as well as the Champions League in that time.

However, Diario Gol claims that Liverpool are interested in snapping up Rakitic after selling Coutinho. The report also suggests that Arsenal are also eager to strike a deal for the Croatian star, while Serie A champions Juventus remain keen to sign the midfielder at the end of the season.

Barcelona’s other midfielders have been in fine form this season, with summer signing Paulinho impressing the most. Andreas Iniesta continues to excel despite nearing the twilight of his career, while Sergio Busquets remains a vital cog in the Barcelona engine room.

That leaves Rakitic’s future uncertain at Camp Nou following the arrival of Coutinho. The 29-year-old is supposedly open to a move away but will only consider his options after the World Cup, which kicks off in June in Russia. However, speaking of Coutinho’s deal, Rakitic has suggested Barcelona may have overpaid for the Brazilian playmaker.

“My opinion doesn’t matter, but the price has gone a bit high, that’s what the market dictates,” Rakitic was quoted as saying by Marca.”

“Every great player is welcome here. I congratulate the president and everyone else who made it possible for him to be here. He is one of the family now, we are going to enjoy him a lot, he’s now at the biggest club in the world.”

Coutinho will not be eligible to feature in the Champions League this season but will boost Barca’s bid for a domestic double, with the Catalans leading Atletico Madrid by 9 points at the top of La Liga.

“We are happy another player has joined us, one who is among the very best. Obviously, he can’t play in the Champions League, but we already knew that. He will help us in LaLiga and hopefully the Copa del Rey, but we must give him time to settle,” he noted.

I feel that Rakitic would be a good signing for us in the event of Emre Can’s departure. What’s your opinion?

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“You have to be smart” – Jurgen Klopp highlights tweaks to Liverpool’s style this season

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Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that the team have worked on the defensive aspect of their play and are avoiding going all-out when in the lead.

The Reds have not been as free-flowing in their attack when compared to the previous season. However, their defence has been one of the best in the league.

Klopp’s team have conceded just three goals from nine Premier League games. Liverpool, along with Chelsea and Manchester City, have made an exemplary start to the season and have all established their dominion in the English top flight.

Klopp was quoted by the Daily Star as saying:

“It’s a normal period of adaptation.

“You put the focus a bit more on something and immediately you lose a bit of the fluency in something else.”

Jurgen Klopp & Xherdan Shaqiri

The German added that we have had good results and wanted the team to get better.

“We have already had good results and scored goals but it’s obvious that we can improve.

“But we need to keep the stability – no doubt about that. What we’ve done defensively so far is credit to the whole team.”

Klopp further claimed that the first part of the season lays the foundations for the rest of the campaign.

“That first part of the season is the basis for the rest of the season so let’s use it. We are growing as a team in a specific way and hopefully we can use that.”

Read more: Liverpool’s out-of-favour star emerges as winter target on Arsenal’s radar

The manager added that the team is sitting back more after taking leads, especially due to the number of games in the league.

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“An unleashed beast now” – Some Liverpool supporters love youngster’s performance in 1-0 win over Huddersfield

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Joe Gomez Liverpool

Liverpool needed a Mohamed Salah goal to get the three points against Huddersfield. The Reds were nowhere close to their fluent best from last season and endured some nervy moments as the home side threatened on numerous occasions.

The Reds were horrible with their passes in the final third and that should be a worry for the rest of the campaign.

However, Joe Gomez was the outstanding player in our defence. The English youngster played a role in our goal and did a great job as the right-back.

Although he wasn’t partnered with Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defence, the 21-year-old was excellent.

A number of Liverpool fans picked up on this and applauded Gomez’s performance in the game.

Read more: Joe Gomez stars: Liverpool player ratings from 1-0 win over Huddersfield

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Joe Gomez stars: Liverpool player ratings from 1-0 win over Huddersfield

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Liverpool endured a frustrating night against Huddersfield as their attack failed to click. Mohamed Salah’s first half effort was the only goal of the game, and there wasn’t much goal-mouth action to speak off.

Huddersfield actually had some of the better chances in the second half and even had an effort ruled offside in the first.

Liverpool were wasteful in possession, and their passing in the final third was awful, however, Huddersfield could not take advantage of this.

The Reds kept the pressure on Manchester City as the pair are tied on 23 points, but we are second in the table due to City’s better goal difference.

There weren’t many standout performers for the Reds in this evening’s clash and here are the player ratings from the game.

Alisson – 6.5/10

Had one nervy moment when his clearance was charged down, but he did make one decent save in the game. The Brazilian was beaten by a thunderous drive but that effort came off the post.

Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez – 7.5/10

Possibly our best player on the night. Gomez helped create the first goal and did a decent job as right-back.

Dejan Lovren – 7/10

The Croatian had one or two iffy moments but this was another quality performance from the former Saint.

Virgil van Dijk – 6.5/10

Van Dijk was quality in the first half but made a couple of mistakes in the second. Thankfully, the home side could not take advantage of the same.

Andy Robertson – 7/10

The Scot was willing to help out in attack, and he did well to track back and defend down the left side.

James Milner – 7/10

Another decent outing by the Englishman, Milner did his regular bit in the middle of the park and kept things going.

Jordan Henderson – 6/10

The captain was taken off during half-time and hopefully, he didn’t pick up a serious injury.

Adam Lallana – 6.5/10

This was Lallana’s first start this season, and he did a decent job with his tricks and flicks. The Englishman had to be replaced with some cramp during the end of the second half.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7/10

The Swiss was the spark that created our only goal of the game. Shaqiri tried to create chances but something was missing in the final output.

Mohamed Salah – 7/10

Salah might have gotten the goal but he was wasteful in the final third and often made the wrong pass.

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge – 6.5/10

Another player that seemed to be out of sorts, Sturridge had chances to score but often missed the target. The Englishman was even booked for needlessly blasting the ball over the bar.

Substitutes

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6.5/10

The Dutchman was quality since he came on at half-time.

Fabinho – 5/10

The midfielder did an alright job but needs more time on the pitch.

Read more: “I love the way they approach the game” – Liverpool target open to moving to Premier League

Roberto Firmino – NA

The Brazilian also was sloppy in attack and made a few mistakes with his passes.

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