The Philippe Coutinho-to-Barcelona rumors are picking up more steam with the January transfer window open.
Spanish football reporter Guillem Balague has suggested Liverpool will eventually sell playmaker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, as a switch to the Camp Nou for the Brazilian appears increasingly inevitable.
A saga has surrounded Philippe Coutinho's future at the Reds since the summer of 2017, where Barca formally made their interest in the midfielder known to the footballing world.
It's believed that the Merseysiders are holding out for an astronomical fee if they're going to allow the club talisman to depart, though Balague insists that La Liga giants have not made an initial offer for his signature to date.
Coutinho will not be “fit” for the the FA Cup game on Friday vs Everton. On future: LFC’s tone has changed -it seems they are open to all the options. Sell now, sell now for the summer. Keeping him beyond then seems the very last option. But no offer from FBC has arrived... yet pic.twitter.com/rFGyFuXqzF— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 2, 2018
Contrary to Liverpool's supposed reluctance to give in, Balague, writing on Twitter, is under the impression that the Premier League club are now considering their options where Coutinho is concerned, a change of heart and attitude which would presumably suit the 'Blaugrana', as their prime target now seems to be within their cross-hairs, even if they haven't yet lodged a bid for the influential creator.
"LFC's tone has changed - it seems there are open to all the options, Sell now, sell now for the summer. Keeping him beyond then seems the very last option. But no offer from FBC has arrived... yet," he wrote.
The respected correspondent then proceeded to almost implore Liverpool to "sell now", because if they fail to do so when they have the opportunity, the 25-year-old would only end up exiting Anfield in the summer transfer period - so to cash in during the January window would purely be a damage limiting measure, as Liverpool would also have the chance to promptly bolster their squad with the hefty funds raised.
Nike, Barcelona's kit provider, fanned the flames which currently engulf the pressing situation by releasing a club shirt with Coutinho's name on the back, an advert - which has since been pulled - that was accompanied by the provocative statement: 'Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou.'
Barcelona allegedly tabled a bid worth £118m during last summer's transfer window, an eye-watering figure which Jurgen Klopp and co. brushed aside in defiance of their continental counterparts.