Liverpool Risk Losing Millions if Philippe Coutinho Leaves Barcelona in January

With Manchester United among those supposedly interested in signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona this January, Liverpool risk missing out on a large chunk of the £142m fee agreed for the Brazilian.

Coutinho signed for Barcelona in January 2018 after the Catalonian giants agreed an initial £105m transfer fee with Liverpool. However, various clauses included in the deal meant that the fee could rise to as much as £142m. 

Coutinho’s move to Barcelona hasn’t worked out as planned and the Brazilian has grown disenchanted with life in Spain. In light of this, The Mirror are reporting Manchester United’s willingness to offer the former Liverpool man a way out.

Thomas Vermaelen,Philippe Coutinho,Denis Suarez

This would spell bad news for Liverpool as they risk missing out on a staggering £22m worth of add-ons. The first potentially unfulfilled clause would be an added £4.4m for every 25 games that Coutinho plays for Barcelona up to 100 games.

Having made 34 appearances already, the Reds have received one out of four potential payments but should Coutinho leave in January Liverpool will miss out on £13.2m just with this clause.

Added to this loss would be the clause which demands that Barça pay £4.4m should they qualify for the Champions League. However, Coutinho must be in the team come the end of the season for this bonus to apply. 

The same rule applies for Barcelona winning the Champions League. Liverpool would only receive the additional £4.4m if Coutinho remained until the end of the season.

Therefore, not only would Manchester United add a world class player to their squad but they could spite their rivals along the way by signing Coutinho in January.

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Whilst Marca claim that Coutinho has ‘hit rock bottom’ at Barcelona, a deal with Manchester United remains a long way off. Barça would have to receive an offer close to or above the £105m they paid for the Brazilian.

Additionally, Barcelona’s manager Ernesto Valverdo has urged Coutinho to knuckle down and regain his spot in the starting 11 rather than quitting. This was once the Brazilian’s dream move and it’s hard to image that he’ll give up on it so easily.

Ernesto Valverde,Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona faced Eibar at home in La Liga on Sunday, and Valverde’s side managed to reaffirm their five point lead at the top of the table after Atlético Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Levante. Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal in the competition as Barca ran out 3-0 victors.

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Barcelona 3-0 Eibar: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lionel Messi Scores 400th La Liga Goal

Barcelona held on to their five point lead at the top of the La Liga table with to a 3-0 victory at home to Eibar, as Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal in the competition. 

Along with Messi, striker Luis Suarez scored a brace to give the Blaugrana a comfortable victory, returning to winning ways after suffering a surprising defeat in the first leg of the Copa del Ray round of 16. 

Eibar started the game well, frustrating the hosts by not allowing them to play out from the back and dictate possession. However, ?Barcelona demonstrated their superb quality for the game’s opening goal after 18 minutes. 

A delightful passing move between Philippe Coutinho and Suarez allowed the Uruguayan to curl the ball into the bottom corner

The visitors managed to keep Barcelona at bay, but it was only a matter of time before the Catalan side ran rampant, scoring two goals in six minutes. 

Luis Suarez

First, Messi reached his landmark goal with a driven shot across Eibar goalkeeper Asier Riesgo before Suarez scored his second with a wonderful finish at the near post.

Check out our breakdown of the game below. 


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Key Talking Point 

Already La Liga’s record goal-scorer, ?Messi further etched his name into footballing history with his 400th goal in Spain’s top flight. 

Widely regarded as the finest player of his generation, what is all the more impressive about Messi’s record is that he has achieved the feat of 400 goals from only 435 appearances in the competition. 

Overall, this win was an important one for Barcelona after their midweek loss to Levante in the Copa Del Rey, which the players will be hoping to atone for in the second leg on Thursday. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (7); Roberto (7), Pique (8), Lenglet (8), Alba (7); Rakitic (6), Busquets (6), Arthur (6), Coutinho (8); Messi (8), Suarez (9*).

Substitutes: Vidal (7), Dembélé (6), Semedo (6). 


STAR MAN 

Scoring two and assisting another, ?Luis Suarez produced a fine individual showing in a game where his partner in crime Messi will receive all the plaudits for his landmark goal. 

Suarez’s second was a particularly fine goal, as he fired home at Riesgo’s near post following a quickly taken throw-in. 

Despite Messi reaching his personal milestone, an exceptional performance by Suarez, who scored against Eibar for the sixth game in a row, should not go unnoticed. 

 

WORST PLAYER 

After being shocked by Levante, Ernesto Valverde’s players gave a timely reminder of the quality they possessed in what was almost a flawless team display.

Ivan Rakitic in no way gave a bad performance, however he was the poorest among Barca’s players. He seemed unfocused at times and was dispossessed of the ball in his own half on several occasions. 

Here’s how several fans reacted to Croatian midfielder’s showing:

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Looking Ahead 

The Blaugrana return to action on Thursday, for the second leg of their last-16 Copa Del Rey tie against Levante. They then return to ?La Liga action next Sunday, hosting Leganes at the Camp Nou.

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Picking the Best Potential Barcelona Lineup to Face Eibar in La Liga on Sunday

Barcelona host Eibar in La Liga on Sunday evening. Ernesto Valverde’s side are already four points clear at the top of the table, and will be hoping to extend that margin this weekend. 

Barca are unsurprisingly the form team in the division, having won their last five league games on the bounce. One would imagine that they’d have too much for Eibar, but stranger things have happened. 

3. Goalkeeper and Defenders

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Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – The German has been a brick wall in recent weeks, conceding just once in his last five league games. With a solid defence in front of him he may not have too much trouble. 

Sergi Roberto (RB) – The midfielder-right-back hybrid has been fighting with Nelson Semedo for this spot all season, and having got the nod in the last game he may keep his place. 

Gerard Pique (CB) – Although the Spaniard is fast approaching veteran status, he’s still more than capable of leading the Barcelona defence. 

Clement Lenglet (CB) – The Frenchman has been a beneficiary of Samuel Umtiti’s injury, deputising alongside Pique for much of the season. 

Jordi Alba (LB) – Although he can’t get into the Spain team for love nor money, Alba continues to prove why he’s one of the best full-backs in the league when he has a Barcelona shirt on.

2. Midfielders

Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets (CM) – Barcelona’s metronome is surely one of the first names on the team sheet, as no midfielder on the planet controls a pitch better. 

Ivan Rakitic (CM) – Technically adept and with an eye for goal, Rakitic provides the perfect balance to Busquets’ holding role. 

Arthur (CM) – The Brazilian has been thrust into the first team since his summer transfer, and has showed exactly why Barca splashed the cash on him. The Xavi comparisons aren’t too far-fetched either. 

1. Forwards

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Lionel Messi (RW) – Obviously Messi’s in the team. Because he’s Messi. He has more goals and assists than any player in Europe’s top five leagues, so…good luck Eibar. 

Luis Suarez (ST) – The second highest scorer in the league behind Messi, Suarez has seen an upturn in fortunes and form since last term. Absolutely deadly when combining with other members of Barca’s forward line. 

Ousmane Dembele (LW) – When he’s not playing Fortnite, turns out Dembele is pretty decent. His seven league goals show that he’s making his own contribution to Barca’s impressive season. 

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Chelsea Make Approach for PSG’s Adrien Rabiot as Search for Cesc Fabregas Successor Continues

?Chelsea have made enquires about the possibility of signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot as the club look to find a replacement for Cesc Fabregas.

The 31-year-old left Stamford Bridge this week to join Thierry Henry’s AS Monaco side for £10m, with Maurizio Sarri keen to fill the void in midfield, having already been linked with Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella and Zenit St. Petersburg’s Leandro Paredes this window. 

Cesc Fabregas,Adrien Rabiot

According to French media outlet ?L’Equipe though, the Blues have now turned their attention to PSG’s Rabiot as Fabregas’s possible successor, with the Premier League side making enquires about the 23-year-old. 

Rabiot is almost certain to leave the Parisian club at the end of the season once his contract expires, with ?recent reports suggesting a deal had been agreed with Barcelona, although ?Bayern Munich have made a late effort to scupper that deal.  


News of ?Chelsea’s apparent interest however could see the French midfielder’s head turned, with the prospect of ?Premier League football and regular game time under Sarri something that could entice Rabiot to move to west London, while his assured touch and good range of passing would certainly see him fit into the Italian’s plans. 

Rabiot has scored twice and provided two assists in 20 games for PSG this season, although has found consistent minutes on the pitch under Thomas Tuchel hard to come by, resulting in him wanting to leave his boyhood club at the end of the campaign upon the completion of his current deal at the Parc des Princes. 

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Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League in Sarri’s first season in England, three points ahead of Arsenal, who could be level on points with the Blues by the time they play Newcastle this weekend. 

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Rumoured Man Utd Target Philippe Coutinho Hits ‘Rock Bottom’ as Barça Directors Question His Future

Barcelona’s hierarchy have criticised manager Ernesto Valverde over the management of Philippe Coutinho, who has supposedly hit ‘rock bottom’ at the Camp Nou.

The Brazil international swapped Liverpool for Barcelona during the January transfer window last season, joining the Catalan giants in a €130m move which would see him fill the shoes of Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain six months earlier.

Philippe Coutinho

Sor far, Coutinho has failed to kick start his career with Barcelona, but aside from his largely underwhelming performances, Spanish radio station Cadena COPE (via Sport) report that the club’s top brass are concerned with how the Brazilian is being managed by Valverde.

The 26-year-old has fallen out of the team due to a combination of Ousmane Dembélé’s recent form, as well as Barcelona’s slight change in system. Valverde will often opt to use a third midfielder – either Arthur or Arturo Vidal – to provide extra cover alongside Ivan Rakiti? and Sergio Busquets, instead of Coutinho.

In a separate report, Marca claims that Coutinho has hit ‘rock bottom’ and point to an injury that was picked up against his former side Inter in the Champions League group stages which has proved to be somewhat of a catalyst for his current situation.

Coutinho’s standing in Barcelona’s squad what now has also seen the midfielder linked with moves away from Catalonia, including, most notably, stories which have tipped Manchester United as a likely destination for the former Liverpool star.

Philippe Coutinho

While links with a move to Old Trafford were quickly scoffed at, news that Coutinho’s situation is starting to turn heads among Barcelona’s hierarchy could breathe new life into the rumour, although at this stage it remains just that, a rumour.

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