Barcelona 'held talks' with Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho

Karthick Arvinth
International Business Times
Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona officials have held talks with Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho in Brazil over a possible summer transfer, according to a report.

Catalan daily Sport says Barcelona are keen on making Coutinho their marquee signing this summer and believe the conditions are right to make a transfer happen at the end of the season.

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The paper claims Coutinho is interested in joining Barcelona despite the 24-year-old signing a new five-year contract with Liverpool in January.

The terms of the contract – worth around £150,000 ($187,000) – come into effect on 1 July.

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Sport says Barcelona's number one priority in the summer is to sign a new right-back, but adds that a move for Coutinho is also on the cards, especially if the club end up selling one or two midfielders.

Officials from the Catalan club are reported to have held talks with Coutinho and his entourage in Brazil "recently".

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The report comes days after Barcelona forward Neymar said he would like to see Coutinho join him at Camp Nou.

"A Premier League player that I would like to have in Barcelona is Coutinho," Neymar was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"I believe Philippe Coutinho is a player that would totally fit in Barcelona."

Coutinho has scored six goals in 22 league appearances for Liverpool this season.

He insisted that he was happy at Liverpool and that he intended to stay at Anfield "for a few more years" when he signed his contract extension with the club in January.

"Ever since my arrival here, I was welcomed with open arms by the supporters – and everyone at this football club. This is an important factor that carries weight when you decide to remain here for a longer period – and this did have a lot of weight when I thought about the renewal of my contract," Coutinho told Liverpool's official website.

"I can only thank every supporter for their faith in me. I really hope to repay them."

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