In Focus: Liverpool handed boost as European giants set their sights elsewhere

Liverpool’s hopes of retaining Philippe Coutinho’s services beyond the January transfer window have received a huge boost as Barcelona have set their sights elsewhere, according to Sport.

What’s the word?

The future of Liverpool’s Brazilian starlet Philippe Coutinho was one of the biggest sagas of the summer transfer window and the general expectation was that Barcelona’s crusade to bring the South American to the Nou Camp would commence once again in January.

It’s no secret that Coutinho wanted to move to Catalonia but Liverpool held firm with their monstrous demands, aware that Barcelona had plenty of cash to spend after the world-record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Whilst speculation persists on Coutinho’s future, Sport reports Barcelona will not return in the new year and will instead set their sights on securing the signature of OGC Nice midfielder Jean-Michel Seri; widely regarded as the ‘new Xavi’.

Will Coutinho stay?

Whilst this does hand a boost to Liverpool’s attempts to keep Philippe Coutinho for the long-term, it doesn’t necessarily bring an end to the saga. Coutinho made it clear he wanted to leave and could push for an exit next year, particularly after the World Cup.

He’ll also be likely to jump ship if Liverpool fail to secure Champions League football again next season, which is a stern test for Jurgen Klopp’s side due to the wealth of competition in the Premier League, and at 25 he may feel it’s time to take the next step.

However, the fact that he’s no longer considered their priority target means that Liverpool should have more time to prepare for the Brazilian’s exit- or even persuade the South American starlet to commit his future to the Merseyside outfit and snub a move to La Liga.