Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool could pursue Barcelona transfer because of Jurgen Klopp issue

PHILIPPE COUTINHO has been tipped to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

And Liverpool could be forgiven for mulling over a transfer because of what happened in the summer.

Philippe Coutinho only swapped Liverpool for Barcelona a year ago, signing for the La Liga giants in a £142million transfer to make him the second most-expensive player of all time.

Things for the Brazilian, however, are yet to work out in Catalonia.

Coutinho is a blockbuster player on his day but, at Barcelona, he is yet to show the same class and ability as he managed in the Premier League.

On the wings, he looks lost.

It is telling that, as things stand, he is behind maverick Ousmane Dembele in the pecking order.

Many thought Coutinho could be Barcelona’s long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta in the middle of the park.

But those expectations are yet to be met and speculation is now rife he could be on his way out of the club at the end of the season.

And Liverpool should be among the interested suitors because of Jurgen Klopp’s issue with his squad.

Back in the summer, he believed he needed a playmaker.

Nabil Fekir, of Lyon, was so strongly linked there were even claims he had chosen a squad number.

Klopp felt Liverpool needed a true heir to Coutinho and Fekir was earmarked as a preferred signing.

But the Reds manager did not get the solution to his problem, despite the budget buy of Xherdan Shaqiri.

Liverpool pulled the plug on a deal for Fekir amid doubts over his injury record before signing Shaqiri from Stoke.

It is an issue that Klopp did not completely solve and one they are believed to still be looking into.

Not that it has done their Premier League title hopes any damage, however.

And that means Liverpool should be in the frame to make a sensational move for Coutinho if he is going to be sold by Barcelona – rather than letting him join Manchester United without a battle.

Klopp never had an issue with the playmaker, despite his desperation to join Barcelona in their final season together.

And Liverpool’s need for a No 10 player is still there.

Whether reports that Barcelona will cut Coutinho loose are accurate, though, remains to be seen.