Philippe Coutinho

Sorry Liverpool. Barcelona turn up pressure on Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona & Philippe Coutinho

It’s Groundhog Day for Spanish paper Sport.

There are some enormous matches in the Champions League on Tuesday. Indeed, Real Madrid, the double reigning UCL champs, take on Tottenham at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight.

But rather than focusing on the immediate football on show, Sport have dedicated their splash to once again linking Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Remember, it’s only October 17th. There’s still two and a half months before the January window reopens.

Nevertheless, Sport seem determined to unsettle Liverpool and Coutinho yet again.

‘Signings in January’

The Sport front page informs Barcelona fans that they’ll be signings at the Camp Nou in January.

Liverpool’s Coutinho remains Barcelona’s first option, but the Catalans are baulking at paying Liverpool’s overinflated asking price.

Back in the summer, Barcelona reportedly failed to sign Coutinho from Anfield when Liverpool were offered 120 million euros for the 25-year-old Brazilian.

Sport attempt to turn up the pressure on the Reds by saying Barcelona have alternatives to the South American star.

Does that mean it’s now or never for Coutinho if he wants to join Barca? Maybe, or maybe Sport are just bluffing.

From Liverpool’s perspective, of course, they’ll be happy to learn that Barcelona are looking elsewhere at signings.

Max Meyer & Julian Brandt

The two players suggested as Coutinho alternatives are Schalke’s Max Meyer and Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt.

In what seems a clear effort to irritate Coutinho, Sport report that Barcelona have already spoken to their respective clubs to negotiate possible deals for either Meyer or Brandt.

Maribor v Liverpool

Tuesday’s match against Slovenian champions Maribor could present Liverpool with the perfect opportunity to rediscover their early season form.

The Reds’ attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho have all scored in the competition this season and will be looking to add to their tallies.

Also see: Maribor v Liverpool predictions: Champions League preview, line-ups & betting tips.