Evans expects Van Dijk to make move


Journalist, and avid Liverpool supporter, Tony Evans has said that he expects Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk to move to Anfield.

He gave this view in his latest article for ESPN ahead of the Holland defender’s first encounter with the Reds since his failed move in the Summer.

“Much of this business took place before Klopp’s arrival in England.” he said.

“Only Mane has made the direct journey during the German’s time in charge.

“Van Dijk will probably join him soon.

“Even if the Dutchman does not make his way to Anfield, more than a quarter of the players for whom Liverpool have paid fees since 2014 have come directly from Southampton.” he finished.

Liverpool have signed Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane from Southampton in recent years and the south coast club have been paid well for each of them.

But they decided against letting the Dutchman follow the well trodden path – even after he handed in a public transfer request asking to be allowed to leave St Mary’s.

Klopp gives update on Lallana


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given an update on the fitness of midfielder Adam Lallana.

The former Southampton man is fit enough for Saturday’s visit to Anfield of his former club – but Klopp won’t be throwing him in from the start against the south coast club.

“There is no rush even when everyone who knows Adam can imagine how ready he is to be part of the squad again.” he said.

“He is a fantastic player but we want to have him for the season.

“The next few weeks we have games every three days and we will need him for that.

“This is the moment the player wants to be back immediately and I have to be the bad guy and say ‘Not today, maybe tomorrow’.

“Obviously that is not too nice but I do it for him and for the club.

“We will use him for sure but bringing him for ninety minutes is not a good idea and will not happen.” he continued.

Klopp went on to explain Lallana’s role in the side, how it differs from other members of the squad and how he has been missed so far this season.

“What he is doing is so different to the other players: he is the ‘jumper’.” said Klopp.

“He loves to do that and of course it is very important for us and will be again and I am already looking forward to when we can use it again.

“But he is also a fantastic football player and he showed that in the first session.

“Unfortunately I was not involved but when I came in they were all really excited about it: ‘Ok, Adam was pretty good’ so I know about it and it is good for the player.” he finished.

Klopp speaks about Van Dijk visit


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was questioned over the impending visit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk to Anfield.

The Holland international will come face to face with the German for the first time since he tried to force an exit from the south coast club.

But Klopp would not be drawn to answer any questions relating to the move to bring the former Celtic centre-back to the club – but did say that he expected things to be tough for him.

“You really expect an answer? What happened in the summer? There is nothing to say on that, absolutely.” he responded.

“Hopefully it should be difficult for every player to come to Liverpool – you mean on Saturday right? Hopefully it is a difficult time.

“There is a special relationship between Southampton and Liverpool.

“We’ve given them a lot of money for a few players. It was always a fair deal – it looks like they suffered in different moments.

“But Liverpool always paid really well for the players.” he finished.

Klopp will has five former Saints in his squad this season in the form of Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren.

Do we have a best XI?


A question regularly asked of football supporters to pick their team’s best XI. And Liverpool fans are no different. But there is probably more debate about the subject than there has been in some time on which members of the current squad would make up the best team available to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The first ports of call when making a selection are picking the players you couldn’t possibly leave out and which formation to put the selected eleven squad members into. Klopp tends to go with a 4-3-3 formation with intricacies based on which players have been picked to play which roles within that system. The terms ‘number 6’ and ‘false number 9’ have become oft-spoken by Liverpool fans since the German took the reigns from Brendan Rodgers just over two years ago, with the debate continuing to rage over whether club captain Jordan Henderson should play the pivotal deep-lying midfield role or if Germany international Emre Can is more suited to it. While many discount the notion of regularly playing the duo alongside eachother in the side, most have a view on which of them is the preferred candidate and opinion is divided. Then the question comes as to who plays alongside the ‘number 6’ occupant in the midfield three.

My personal view is that we don’t actually such a thing as a ‘best XI’ at present and it benefits Klopp to pick from the available players depending on the opposition and whether we are playing at home or away. Teams have developed a tendency to show up at Anfield with a game plan of sitting deep and trying to snatch a goal. It has worked well, to varying degrees, for the likes of Burnley, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Southampton in particular since Klopp took the job. They have worked out that by cutting out the advantage of pace on the break from Liverpool, especially at Anfield, they have more of a chance of claiming a result. The notion appears to have passed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger by, given the 4-0 hiding his wide open Arsenal side were handed earlier this season. But he doesn’t really have the players suited to sitting in deep with a siege mentality – but nor do we, given the 5-0 mauling we suffered at Manchester City after Sadio Mane was sent off in the first-half.

And so when looking at which players comprise the best side we have available to us you have to take into account who they’re going up against. It would make a lot of sense to play both Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in the midfield three, provided each is available, in order to add maximum creativity from the centre of the park. The idea of playing them both in deeper roles came under Klopp’s watch and credit has to go to him, or whichever coach suggested it to him, for that. They’ve both been able to influence games more from the midfield and it’s been a benefit to the team. Having them in tandem has not been something we’ve seen enough of so far and the impending return to fitness of the England international could see the idea put into practice against his former side Southampton at the weekend. That game may come too soon, but it’s something to look forward to otherwise. The debate would again turn to which of Can or Henderson should sit in behind them to add a little defensive cover to the back four, who are likely to see the full-backs pushing on to add attacking weight against tightly-packed defences. We could have done with Lallana against Jose Mourinho’s parked bus a few weeks back when we failed to make the breakthrough in the second consecutive stalemate at Anfield. Coutinho was pushed forward to cover the damaging absence of Mane as well, so we had to deploy a midfield of Can, Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum. That trio is unlikely to strike fear into the heart of many defences.

When looking ahead of the midfield three, it is pretty clear which players should occupy the attacking slots in Klopp’s side. Nobody in their right mind would leave out either Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane from their side, whether it be at home against a dogged side intent on claiming a point or away from home against a more expansive outfit looking to beat us. Roberto Firmino is likely to be most fans’ picks when it comes to select the central attacker and that marries up with the manager’s view too. He has a few options in reserve with Daniel Sturridge getting the occasional game, Danny Ings returning to fitness and former Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke emerging after his arrival in the Summer. But none of those provide the pressing or link-up play that the Brazil international offers. Klopp loves him and so do most of the fans, but many would question his goal return so far this season. He took on the number 9 shirt at the end of last season after Salah arrived seeking his number 11. And while he isn’t a genuine striker, wearing that shirt carries a huge amount of history with it thanks to Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and, ahem, El-Hadji Diouf previously occupying it. Firmino has so far scored just three times in the Premier League, one of those being a penalty, and has laid on two assists for his team-mates. While Salah is in such hot scoring form that return can be carried from the main forward, but if the Egyptian slows down in terms of finding the net, Firmino will need to become more prolific. He has managed to notch three goals in four games in the Champions League, but two of those were in the 7-0 rout of Maribor. He also missed a penalty against Sevilla in the 2-2 draw at Anfield and had he scored it would have been a big boost to hopes of winning that game. On the other hand, he did open the scoring that night. But the attack is the least of the problems Klopp has when selecting his team.

The debate over which goalkeeper should be number one has intensified this season. Simon Mignolet is the first-choice stopper when it comes to the Premier League, despite being dropped for the 4-0 win over Arsenal. Loris Karius had very little to do in that game, but he was a lot busier against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow in the Champions League. He could possibly have done better for the Spanish side’s second goal that night, but he absolutely should have saved Fernando’s free-kick for the Russian side that opened the scoring on the night. The situation has only been complicated by the return of Wales international Danny Ward from a series of loan moves away from Anfield. A growing number of fans are calling for him to be given the chance to show what he can do after impressing for Aberdeen and Huddersfield Town, in particular. He was handed the gloves for the trip to face Leicester City in the League Cup back in September and cannot be held accountable for the 2-0 loss. Many feel that he deserves to be given a run in the more senior competitions following the series of errors from Mignolet and Karius. I am one of those who would like Klopp to afford the twenty-four year old a chance.

Who Klopp picks in the back four has been the subject most debated by Liverpool fans since he arrived just over two years ago. The faith shown in Dejan Lovren has baffled many, with the decision to hand him a six-figure weekly wage and contract extension questioned repeatedly. The Croatian international has let the team down time after time with defensive clangers and at twenty-eight years of age is unlikely to turn around four years of form and become the consistent centre-back we so badly need. He can take inspiration from another much-maligned defender proving that it is possible to win over fans, and a manager in his case, who’d written him off. Alberto Moreno has reclaimed a spot in the side after nobody would stump up the relatively modest £15m transfer fee placed on him at the end of last season. Interest came from Napoli and Swansea City, but neither would offer the full asking asking price and may well be regretting it now. Lovren following suit and winning over dissenters is asking too much, however. The emergence of Joe Gomez as an England international capable of marking Neymar out of the game this week will give many more ammunition as they call for him to be selected ahead of Lovren and Ragnar Klavan alongside Joel Matip at the heart of the defence. Klopp needs to either find a formula that works with the defenders he has available, if indeed there is one, or he will have to finally spend more than loose change on defenders next year. Had the pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk not been handled so badly he could be in the side now – and he would make into every fan’s best XI.

This is where I would offer a conclusive summary and show you my personal ‘best XI’, but I don’t think we necessarily have one and would decide who’s playing based on the opposition. And that’s a good position to be in, because we have seen in the past how disappointing results can be when we have a side that picks itself rather than options.

It’s time for a defensive shake-up


It’s about time that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp mixed it up in terms of who he picks in defence. The standard of defending seen in recent times from the team has not been good enough – despite some solid statistics at Anfield so far this season. The main culprit is Croatian international centre-back Dejan Lovren. No amount of support from the stands or dugout appears to make any difference to the level of consistency he is able to perform to. Since arriving from Southampton back in the Summer of 2014 he has shown time after time that he cannot be trusted, particularly against Crystal Palace for some reason, and it is way past the time that he should have been moved down the pecking order.

When Klopp took over the job from predecessor Brendan Rodgers back in October of 2015, many supporters hoped that clearing out the players who were letting the side down would be one of the first things the German would take care of. But here we are two years later and not only are the likes of Lovren and serial offender Simon Mignolet still regulars in the side, but they’ve been handed contract extensions and payrises. Some have pointed to protecting their value as reasoning behind giving them the new deals, as well as for confidence reasons, but neither is going to cause a stampede in the transfer market if we decide to let them move on. Mignolet has made more errors leading to goals than any other player in the Premier League since he was brought in from Sunderland back in 2013. Many will point to improved performances from the Belgian last season as key to us making a return to the Champions League stage, but he’s reverted to the liability he so often is this season and we need better than he is offering. Making him captain against West Ham recently was yet another attempt to add some belief into his game – as well as a glaring highlighting of how little leadership there is in this squad.

The performance of Joe Gomez for England, on his debut, against Brazil this week was further proof that Klopp is showing too much faith in the likes of Lovren. Gomez marshaled the threat of Paris Saint Germain superstar Neymar brilliantly and, while it wasn’t a competitive game, that has to be applauded. The former Charlton Athletic defender is not a right-back, but he has been asked to fill in there in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne so far during this campaign. We also have Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jon Flangan as backups for that spot in the side, so it wouldn’t be a disaster to give Gomez a chance alongside Joel Matip. The former Cameroon international may not be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, but he is currently our most consistent performer there and he is not benefiting from partnering either Lovren or the equally shaky Ragnar Klavan – with the pair of them always looking capable of dropping an error that will cost the team. Each of them are more than capable of losing concentration for a moment in the box and being made to pay for it with alarming regularity. They’ve been given ample time and chances to show what they’re capable of and they look fourth choice options at best – and they’re blocking Gomez’s path to the team in his preferred position at present.

Klopp appear to understand that the defence hasn’t been good enough since he took the job – but how well?

The former Borussia Dortmund manager identified Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk as one of his two main Summer transfer targets. So it would seem that he has seen that he needs to add a defensive leader to his backline. But his inability to move on to an alternative target coupled with his assertion that there aren’t five centre-backs out there better than what he has available was difficult to swallow for many fans. While it was a massive positive to see the Holland international turn down interest from clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in favour of a switch to Anfield, it was incredibly foolish not to add at least a stop-gap to the ranks. We have the addition of Champions League football this season and few will feel confident of going far with the defensive options we currently have – even if Djimi Traore has a winners’ medal from 2005. Klopp had the chance to make moves for either type of option before the transfer window closed with the inevitable lack of a move for van Dijk. Colombia international Davinson Sanchez was available at Ajax for the fee of £45m and seasoned German international Benedikt Howedes, who used to partner Matip there, was a loan option. The latter ended up joining Spurs, adding to their impressive defensive unit, and the Schalke man made the switch to spend the season with Italian champions Juventus. Would either have preferred a move to Anfield? We don’t know, but it would’ve been nice to find out. And that’s before you consider that the club baulked at the price around the neck of Napoli’s defensive star Kalidou Koulibaly.

Klopp is in a corner until at least January in terms of what he can do to try and shore up a concerning defence – a defence which should have been more of a priority back in the Summer. The only signing made to add to the options was Scotland international Andrew Robertson, who arrived from relegated Hull City for around £8m. That didn’t excite many but it gave people hope that we would have a genuine left-back in the side following right-footed midfielder James Milner plugging the gap last season. As it’s transpired, a rejuvenated Alberto Moreno has reclaimed the position after looking cut adrift following a year of getting splinters in his backside on the bench. His rise has been capped off with a recall to the Spanish national squad this past fortnight. Few will have seen his reinstating to the first XI coming and many will be hoping he has cut out the calamitous defensive errors that became his trademark in his first couple of seasons at Anfield. How he reacts if/when he does make a mistake that leads to a goal being conceded will be a character defining moment for the ex-Sevilla man.

When you tally up the money Klopp has spent trying to patch up a troubled defensive unit it starts to show just how much of a priority it has been for him. Matip was free, Klavan cost around £4m and Robertson cost double that. The other defender brought to the club under Klopp’s watch was Steven Caulker, who spent more of his time on the pitch up front as Klopp went for broke trying to snatch late results. It’s not encouraging and it makes the calamitous pursuit of van Dijk look even more costly.

My personal view is that Klopp should drop both Mignolet and Lovren from the first-team. I would have had Moreno on that list until his recent improvement in form. He still could return to the recycle bin, but his current run of form means that he doesn’t deserve to be dropped. I would take Mignolet and Lovren out of the picture and give Gomez and Danny Ward a chance to show what they can do. Neither could realistically be as bad as either of the current pair and it would give us an opportunity to see if there are players capable of saving us money in the transfer market. Well, that’s if Klopp is actually looking to sign a centre-back and goalkeeper any time soon. The chase of Van Dijk says at least one of those positions is being prioritised at last. We may still end up bringing the Dutchman to the club, but the highly impressive start to the season made by Pep Guardiola’s side may have the former Celtic man reconsidering his options and thinking he made a lucky escape in being in the position to be able to rethink his plans. City may not be keen to sign him next year, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t at least hold a lingering interest in the best centre-back in the league.

Until we are in a position to land Klopp’s targets, my opinion is that he should shake up the defensive unit and give chances to some players who haven’t shown without doubt that they cannot be trusted to perform. Ward was very good at Aberdeen and excellent in his loan spell at Huddersfield Town as they gained an unlikely promotion to the top flight last season. While Gomez showed on Tuesday night at Wembley just why he’s believed to have so much potential to become an England regular for the next decade.

Take a chance Jurgen.

Why would Coutinho and Can want to leave?


Liverpool supporters everywhere are not keen on the idea of losing duo Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can at the end of the season. Or sooner.

Barcelona continue to chase a deal for Coutinho and are showing no signs of giving up on the pursuit they began with a trio of, immediately rejected, offers back in the Summer. The Brazil international handed in a transfer request in August in a bid to force through an exit so that he could join the club that appears to appeal most to South American players. He cited a back injury as reason he couldn’t feature for the team before going on international duty and returning to Jurgen Klopp’s squad after the transfer window closed. He has missed recent games against Maribor, Huddersfield Town and West Ham United before again joining up with his national side. And his ability to reach fitness when the Samba Boys are playing but not always when the Reds are in action hasn’t gone unnoticed. It may be coincidence, but Liverpool fans are keeping an open mind about what might be on the agenda.

The situation for Germany international Emre Can is different. He has just half a season left on the contract he signed when he arrived from Bayer Leverkusen back in the Summer of 2014. But there is no sign of an extension being agreed and speculation continues to run rife that he could be set to jump ship, with several heavyweight clubs rumoured to be interested in his services. Juventus have held a long-standing interest in his services and saw a lowball Summer offer rejected by Liverpool. Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United are other clubs who have been linked with free transfer moves for him next Summer.

It’s a worrying time for fan and manager alike, with two of the players who appear of high importance to Klopp edging towards the exit at Anfield. But why would they want to pack their bags and head for pastures new?

Both have said that they want to win trophies, and the medals that go with them, in their career and have stated their determination to bring silverware to the club. But neither has been able to lift a single cup or take home a winners’ medal since they arrived at the club – almost five years ago in Coutinho’s case and just over three in Can’s. Both are in the early stages of their careers still, but they’re heading towards their peaks and they want assurances that they will be collecting the prizes when they’re handed out each season. Aside from coming agonisingly close to the league title in 2014 (in Coutinho’s case) and a couple of cup final appearances at the back end of the 2015/16 season, they’ve not had much chance to start gathering medals. And that has to be a major issue when trying to persuade the two of them that they’re best served sticking around the place.

Klopp is a wonderful persuader and he inspires confidence from those who play for him and support his team. But his honeymoon period is over at Anfield after two years and the team doesn’t look an obvious contender for the type of trophies that Coutinho and Can want to be lifting. Manchester City are streets ahead of the pack in the Premier League, while a tilt at the Champions League looks a very optimistic expectation even for those who believe lightning can strike again after Istanbul in 2005. It would take a huge effort for this squad to challenge for the two trophies that matter most at home and on the continent. But few expected them to be challenging for the big prizes at the start of the season, so how can anyone complain that this success isn’t forthcoming?

Coutinho and Can don’t have a divine right to success either – and that is something that has and will be pointed out by fans around the globe. But it won’t hold much weight when they each have offers to go and play for clubs whose immediate prospects look a lot brighter than ours. Barcelona lead the La Liga table, despite losing Neymar, and are perennial contenders in the Champions League too. While Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid, both current champions in France and Spain respectively, are keeping a close eye on Coutinho and Can is being linked with moves to clubs who also top their tables and/or win titles with regularity. Meanwhile, Liverpool haven’t won the domestic title since 1990 and have been European champions once in the past thirty-three years, albeit twelve years ago. But it isn’t just those stats that put the club’s stature in doubt – after becoming regulars in the Champions League for a spell under Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier, the club have managed to qualify just twice since the Spaniard left Anfield back in 2010. Title challenges are even harder to spot since the club last became English champions twenty-seven years ago, with a handful of genuine tilts at ending the drought in that period. Another setback to aspirations of becoming top dogs again is the sheer quantity of competition in England – where Klopp realistically needed to topple Bayern to succeed in Germany, he has five rivals of similar might to fight his way past here.

Foreign players are less likely to show loyalty to the club when they’ve jumped ship to move here in the past from other clubs who would’ve liked to have kept them around for longer. Coutinho will no doubt have been dreaming about becoming a Barcelona player back in his childhood – a childhood that began after Liverpool last won the title. While Can will also be considering his options with similar ideas of attaining glory at clubs who have much more chance of providing it to him than we do. Unfortunately. It is hard to be so blunt and stark in honesty about the club I grew up supporting back in the eighties, but the kind of dominance I witnessed in my youth are long gone and the reputation that was built with it has been on the wane in recent times. Modern players are more likely to seek out contracts that offer top money as much of a guarantee of success as is possible in the game. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester City are in a position to lure our star players away – and most of them have in recent years. The only way to stop this happening is by winning more trophies, with just one coming in the form of the League Cup in the past eleven years, and being a regular in the Champions League once again. But that would be a lot easier to achieve if players didn’t decide that the grass is greener elsewhere.

The club has the right man in charge. Klopp has shown that he can overhaul the heavyweights in the past when he took Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final. But he’s going to need time, patience, loyalty and cash to do it. The supporters can influence the first two, along with the players, while FSG need to put up the funds for him to bring in the right players. He proved, along with Michael Zorc, at Dortmund that you don’t need to sign star names to attain success. But he’s going to need to get the players he wants for the right prices to be able to make his way past his five biggest rivals in the Premier League.

Liverpool supporters everywhere will be hoping that he can do it. But it might not be until the likes of Coutinho and Can have moved on and players more dedicated to the club have replaced them.

Schalke director hoping Goretzka will stay


Schalke of hopeful of keeping Leon Goretzka beyond this season.

Reports emerged this week that Liverpool had agreed to sign the Germany international in January ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.

Former Germany international striker Oliver Bierhoff appeared to accidentally reveal that Goretzka would be following Leroy Sane from the Bundesliga to the Premier League last week.

But Schalke sporting director Christan Heidel has said that they are hopeful of keeping the twenty-two year old and have not given up the fight to keep him just yet.

“I have faith in Leon and his advisers. We remain in the race.” he told Kicker.

Besides Liverpool, there have been several other clubs from around the continent linked with bids to snap up the player – who will be able to agree a move to a foreign club in the new year.

Bayern Munich lead the race in his homeland, while Arsenal, Spurs and Barcelona have all been touted as potential destinations for Goretzka.

Ronaldinho wants Coutinho to join Barcelona


Former Barcelona attacker Ronaldinho has backed Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho to follow in his footsteps.

The Samba star has said that he would like to see his compatriot swap Anfield for the Camp Nou.

“I would be very happy to see such a talented player wear the shirt I wore for so many years.” he said as he became a Football for Peace ambassador.

“I believe the way he plays will perfectly suit Barcelona and would be delighted to see a player of such quality wear the shirt.

“I like the way Coutinho plays and the type of football he brings.

“Those types of qualities will hopefully help Brazil win the next World Cup.” he finished.

Liverpool supporters will be growing tired of hearing former Barcelona and Brazil players calling for Coutinho to make the switch to play for the La Liga giants.

But it is unlikely that they will stop putting public pressure on the club to sell until Coutinho has been allowed to complete the move.

Dortmund join race to sign Can


Borussia Dortmund have joined the race to sign Emre Can from Liverpool.

That’s according to a report by The Times, in which it is claimed that the Bundesliga club have targeted a move for Can when his contract at the club expires at the end of the season.

Manager Jurgen Klopp is very keen to keep his compatriot at the club, but negotiations have stalled following disagreements over the terms being Can’s representatives and the club.

It has been widely reported that the former Bayer Leverkusen player is seeking a release clause on top of a substantial payrise in order to put pen to paper on a new deal.

The club are reported to be unhappy with the idea of giving him a release clause and are not matching the salary that his agents are seeking for their client, according to several claims.

And it has seen Can linked with several clubs as he approaches the final six months of the contract he signed when he moved to Anfield back in the Summer of 2014.

Juventus made a relatively low offer to try and tempt Liverpool into selling him back in the Summer, but that was immediately rejected with hopes high then of a resolution over discussions.

Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have all been touted as potential suitors for the Germany international and Klopp’s former club can now be added to that list.

Barcelona set to offer player-exchange


Barcelona are set to offer Liverpool a part-exchange deal for Philippe Coutinho.

The Spanish giants remain determined to sign the Brazil international, who still appears keen to make the move, but don’t want it to be a full cash deal.

Liverpool are likely to demand a huge fee for the twenty-five year old if, as expected, the Catalan club come back with a fourth bid.

Coutinho made a transfer request in the Summer after seeing Barcelona have three offers immediately rejected by the Reds – and his demand to leave was met with the same response.

But they remain hopeful of getting the former Inter Milan playmaker to the Camp Nou in 2018 and believe that offering players in exchange could be the best solution.

Portugal international Andre Gomes is the player they are most likely to put in their fourth bid for Coutinho when the transfer window opens.

The La Liga leaders are aware that Liverpool are on the verge of seeing Germany international Emre Can leave when his contract expires at the end of the season and are happy to let the former Valencia man go.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to be won over by the prospect of bringing in Gomes as part of the transfer and would prefer to have the cash to spend on reinforcements.

The saga over Coutinho’s future is unlikely to end until the end of the season as Liverpool remain keen to keep him at Anfield for the remainder of the campaign.