?Liverpool are reportedly set to take Barcelona’s kit manufacturer Nike to court after they ‘wrongly’ announced the transfer of Philippe Coutinho on their website, a blunder which could cost the American company an ‘astronomical’ fee.
The audacious stunt saw Nike display an advert on their official online store on Saturday, which encouraged fans to purchase a Barcelona kit with Coutinho adorned on the back – where the page was subsequently removed within an hour.
BREAKING: ESPN Brazil report that Liverpool will go to court over the fact that Nike, Barcelona’s kit supplier, announced the arrival of Coutinho to Barcelona.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) January 1, 2018
The constant speculation and confidence from the Barcelona camp has stirred Liverpool into action as they are set to demand an ‘astronomical’ fee from their kit suppliers – who also sponsor Coutinho – in court due to their ‘carelessness’ – as per
Liverpool will demand an astronomical fee for Philippe Coutinho if any deal is to be reached in January, after Nike’s marketing blunder pic.twitter.com/aHsQkOjB71
— PurelyFootball UK (@PurelyFootball) January 1, 2018
?Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is finally ready to launch a £50m January bid for Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.
The French international has a clause written into his current contract that if matched will allow him to discuss the possibility of a transfer away from the Nou Camp. It is understood that Guardiola has been a long term admirer of the defender – like rivals Manchester United – and now believes the time is right to strike. City require defensive reinforcements as central defence remains an area of concern due to form and questionable fitness, particularly of club captain Vincent Kompany.
Umtiti now seems a priority signing as the Citizens look to bolster their central defensive options in trying to achieve an unparalleled ‘Quardruple’.
It is not all good news for City as Sun Sport reports that star striker Sergio Aguero remains uncertain about his long term future at the Etihad and looks ready to quit the club this summer.
City’s record scorer signed a one year extension to his contract last January, taking him to the summer of 2020. However, the Argentine international still has a strong affinity to Independiente where he is adored by home supporters even after leaving the club more than twelve years ago to join Atletico Madrid.
Former Independiente vice-president Carlos Sola said: “Fans know what he has done for the club.
“Kun only played here for a few years but all the people here think he is a club great. And when he comes back, he is a supporter of the club — he is one of them.”
Guardiola has shown throughout his managerial career he can be ruthless in making tough decisions for the benefit of the team. Although new additions seem likely during the winter transfer window, expect to see some of the squad leave as the Spaniard looks to build a side capable of long term success and that could mean some of City’s star players are moved on.
?Guillem Balague has claimed Barcelona haven’t yet approached Philippe Coutinho about a move to the Nou Camp.
The Brazilian’s proposed transfer to the Blaugrana is one of the longest running sagas of the year, and reports have continued despite the closure of the summer transfer window.
The January window opens on Monday, however and there is expectation that Barca will come back in for Coutinho, but according to Balague no progress has been made between the two parties.
He wrote on Twitter: “On Coutinho. There has been no meetings with Barcelona, FCB have put no new offer (yet), LFC have put no price to him, there was no promise from LFC to him to sell him now, LFC are not forced to sell, but…
As there has been no new offer from FCB yet, we don’t know what LFC’s final stand. But they seem more ambiguous. “Nothing is forever… there’s always a solution” (Klopp). Are they planning to agree something for the summer? Open to huge offer? Things clearer when FCB sends offer
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) 31 December 2017
“As there has been no new offer from FCB yet, we don’t know what LFC’s final stand. But they seem more ambiguous. ‘Nothing is forever… there’s always a solution’ (Klopp). Are they planning to agree something for the summer? Open to huge offer? Things clearer when FCB sends offer.”
The 25-year-old has shone for Liverpool so far this season, despite having put in a transfer request to leave back in summer – he has scored 12 goals in all competitions, but it remains to be seen if he will add to that tally as the January window opens.
?Barcelona’s away and third strips for the 2018/19 season have been leaked online, well at least the supposed design.
Said design was released by footyheadlines.com, who have quite the good record when it comes to revealing upcoming kits way in advance of their launch.
According to the site, the Catalan side’s upcoming away kit will be bright green, or ‘volt’ for the third time in the club’s history. Barca have previously donned such away threads in 2005/06 and 2014/15, and could bring back the fan favourite theme next season.
The third kit is reported as being maroon and pink, which is not dissimilar to the club’s current third. This is as a result of Rakuten being the sponsor, and the electronic company will be sponsoring the Spanish side for the second season running.
The club’s 2018/19 third kit is expected to be launched in August or September of 2018.
?Chelsea youngster Andreas Christensen has made his way on to Barcelona’s radar after emerging as one of the Premier League’s top young talents.
The 21-year-old has pushed David Luiz out of the first team after the Brazilian endured a shocker against Roma in the Champions League, and Christensen has looked impressively assured in the Chelsea backline in recent weeks.
The Dane has missed the Blues’ last two matches through a bout of illness, but should be restored to the starting XI by Antonio Conte for the upcoming game against Arsenal.
His superb positioning and strong ball-playing attributes have prompted Barcelona to keep tabs on him, as reported by the ?Mirror, and the Blaugrana may be set to test the waters.
Barca are light in defence at the moment, with Samuel Umtiti a long term injury victim and Javier Mascherano set to depart the Nou Camp for China, and so they are rumoured to be keen to bring someone in in January – Manchester United defender Daley Blind has also been linked.
It is understood that Chelsea want to move quickly to offer Christensen a new deal in order to fend off interest from other clubs – his current deal runs until 2020.
It has been a good rise for the defender, who was signed by Chelsea in 2013 from Brondby, before being loaned out to Borussia Monchengladbach for experience.