New Barca Signing, Coutinho Injured As Brazilian Completes Record Move

Philippe Coutinho will not be able to make his debut for Barcelona until the end of January because he has a thigh injury, the club said on Monday.

“Coutinho has an injury to his right thigh and he is expected to be out for around three weeks,” Barcelona said on their website.

Coutinho, 25, was officially unveiled by Barca on Monday, completing a 160-million-euro ($192 million) move from Liverpool, making it the third richest transfer in history.

The Brazilian midfielder could in theory make his debut on January 28 when Alaves visit the Camp Nou in La Liga.

AFP

Coutinho Inspires Liverpool Rout Against Swansea

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho underlined his importance to the Reds ahead of the transfer window with a fine individual display in a comfortable 5-0 win over Premier League strugglers Swansea City on Tuesday.

The Brazil international scored his 12th goal of the season with a fine curling effort and provided an assist for compatriot Roberto Firmino.

Coutinho, who was strongly linked with a move to Barcelona in the build-up to the season, has enjoyed his most prolific goalscoring month in a Liverpool shirt, finding the net seven times in December.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s determination saw him score Liverpool’s third after half-time before Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finished from close range.

Liverpool’s victory ensured they remain in the thick of the battle for the Champions
League places in fourth spot — five points behind second-placed Manchester United.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had made four changes from the side that drew 3-3 against Arsenal.

Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold came into the defence, while Georginio Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain both started in midfield.

It did not take Liverpool long to assert their authority against the Premier League’s bottom club.

The tireless Firmino dispossessed Jordan Ayew in midfield and rolled the ball into the path of Mohamed Salah who in turn fed Coutinho just outside the penalty area.

Coutinho, restored to an advanced role in Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate, cut inside onto his right foot and curled a sumptuous shot into the top right corner of the net, which Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski could only stand and admire.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who retained his place despite a high-profile blunder against Arsenal, was called into action shortly afterwards.

A deep cross picked out Ayew at the back post and the Swansea striker’s header brought a smart save out of the Belgium international.

With the atmosphere at Anfield flat and Swansea happy to pack men behind the ball, the remainder of the first half lacked any real intensity.

Liverpool continued to pose the greater threat with Emre Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Firmino all trying their luck from distance to no avail.

The Reds squandered a golden chance to add to their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Salah nabbed the ball in midfield and put Firmino through on goal, only for the Liverpool forward to drag his shot wide.

AFP

Coutinho Chooses Playing Against Barcelona

Liverpool Philippe Coutinho has decided against playing up this week.

After seeing Liverpool refuse to sell him to Barcelona by last Friday, it was suggested Coutinho could refuse to return from Brazil, where he has been with the national team squad.

Sport says Coutinho discussed with family members about missing this morning’s flight and spending several days in Rio as a show of rebellion.

However, he jumped on the jet in Barranquilla alongside Reds teammate Roberto Firmino.

It’s claimed, meanwhile, that Liverpool officials know Coutinho could refuse to take part in the Champions League, so to encourage Barca to try again for him in January.

 

We Saved £100M On Two Signings – Mourinho

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho talks about how much he has saved himself and so much money through the early transfer business when the transfer window was open.

Mourinho is happy they signed Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic before Neymar’s €222m move from Barcelona to PSG.

“I think we were very smart. We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. After Neymar everything changed – and worse for prices,” he told Reporters

“I think Lukaku on August 31 would have cost £150 million. Matic would have cost £60 or £70 million (instead of 40). Neymar changed everything. If the biggest move in history was still (Paul) Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona for £101 million.”

 

Brazil Coach Tells Coutinho “Go Where You Feel Happy”

Brazil soccer coach Tite has told midfielder Philippe Coutinho to play for whatever club would make him happy and complained that transfer speculation had affected the national squad’s preparations for Thursday’s match against Ecuador.
Liverpool’s Coutinho is being pursued by Spanish club Barcelona, though the English Premier League side’s manager Jurgen Klopp has said he does not want to sell the Brazilian.

“I told him (Coutinho) that I want him to go wherever he feels happy,” Tite told a press conference ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifier in Porto Alegre.

Coutinho has not played for Liverpool this season because of injury. However, Tite defended Brazil’s decision to insist that the midfielder travel to South America for the match.

“The Brazilian team doctor has spoken to Liverpool’s doctor and our director with their directors. I haven’t been in touch because I don’t speak English,” he said, adding that Coutinho would not play against Ecuador.

“We are not going to take any risks but, on the other hand, we are not going to do without him in the squad.”

The transfer window closes on Thursday in most European countries and on Friday in Spain.

“It affects us and it will continue affecting us until the end,” said Tite, whose side have already qualified for the World Cup finals.

“It affects the players emotionally. It also affects the coach, who has to take into consideration situations which are nothing to do with the field of play.”

Tite’s comments chimed with the thoughts of Italy coach Giampiero Ventura, who said this week that the uncertainties caused by the transfer window had hampered his preparations for Italy’s key World Cup qualifier against Spain.

Coutinho Yet To Make A Decision Between Barcelona And Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho is not expected to return to Liverpool, and he is being claimed by Barcelonia.

The midfielder has told friends that he is confident of the clubs Barca and Liverpool agreeing on  a fee while he is aways at the World Cup Qualifier in Brazil

Coutinho, who has not played so far this season, stunned Liverpool fans by taking part in full-scale training with Tite’s squad yesterday.

It’s suggested Barca are prepared to go to €160m to convince Liverpool to finally cash in on the midfielder.

And Coutinho has told confidants he is confident his time with Liverpool is now over

 

Klopp Warns Barca, Coutinho Is Not For Sale

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) speaks to Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 10, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS /

Jurgen Klopp has warned Barcelona that Liverpool has no intention of selling Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho at any price.

Barca wants Coutinho to replace Neymar following the Brazilian’s world record £200 million ($260 million, 222 million euros) transfer to Paris Saint Germain earlier this month.

The Spanish club is reported to have increased their bid for Coutinho to £90 million this week after two previous offers were rejected by the Premier League side.

With Barca cash rich following Neymar’s move and Coutinho said to be keen on a move, there is every chance they will eventually test Liverpool’s resolve with an offer in excess of £100 million.

Barca believes Coutinho can step in for Neymar alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a star-studded front three, and could also provide cover for 33-year-old Andres Iniesta in midfield.

But Liverpool manager Klopp remains adamant the 25-year-old will stay at Anfield no matter what Barca are prepared to pay.

“We want to have the best possible team. This means keeping the guys we have,” Klopp told Sky in Germany.

“Liverpool is not a club that needs to sell. That is set in stone. So what they pay in the end doesn’t matter.

“From a financial standpoint, there’s no threshold of pain.”

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5 million in 2013, signed a new five-year deal with the Merseyside outfit in January that did not include a buy-out clause.

He was their leading scorer with 14 goals in all competitions last term, a season that saw Klopp’s men qualify for the Champions League with a fourth place finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool opens the new Premier League campaign against Watford on Saturday.

But Coutinho could be sidelined at Vicarage Road, having received treatment this week for a back injury.

Liverpool Reject Barcelona’s €100 Million Coutinho Bid

Liverpool has rejected a second bid from Barcelona for influential Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho worth 100 million euros (£90.3 million), British media claimed Wednesday.

Barcelona is desperate to land the 25-year-old to replace fellow Brazilian Neymar who was sold for a world record 222 million euros to Paris Saint Germain last week.

However, the BBC reported that Liverpool has again told Barcelona that Coutinho, who signed from Inter Milan in 2013, is not for sale.

The Liverpool Echo newspaper added Wednesday: “Liverpool have told Barca they will be wasting their time if they come back in with a third offer and are adamant that Coutinho will not be Neymar’s replacement at the Camp Nou.”

Barcelona believes the Brazilian international has the ability to not only replace Neymar alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a star front three but could also provide cover for 33-year-old captain Andres Iniesta in midfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Barcelona “to save their energy” last week, claiming the player wasn’t for sale.

However, he was left out of Liverpool’s squad for a friendly win over Athletic Bilbao in Dublin at the weekend while a back injury seems certain to sideline him from the club’s opening Premier League match at Watford on Saturday.

Should Barcelona fail to tempt Coutinho to Spain, they are expected to turn their attentions to highly-rated French star Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund.

Dembele, 20, was involved in a training ground bust up with Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki last week and has spoken of his desire to one day play for Barca.

 

 

Source: The Guardian