Liverpool: Coutinho injury latest; Brazilian targeted; new contract for star man
Philippe Coutinho is set to return to light training next week as he targets a return to action for the vital New Year’s Eve clash with Manchester City, as Jurgen Klopp revealed to the press:
“It would be cool (if he was available to face City). I won’t stop him. In this moment he is improving a lot. He is off his crutches since the West Ham game, when we left the stadium he was walking in front without them. We will have to see. No idea at the moment.I never rush a player back. I’m the most patient person in Liverpool. I always wait for someone. I can’t rush it.”
After an initial blip, the Reds showed no sign of missing the Brazilian when playing against Middlesbrough in midweek but will be glad to have one of their best players back available to them.
He could be joined by another Brazilian at Anfield in January as the Liverpool Echo quote Football Italia as linking the club with a move for forward Gabriel Barbosa, who has struggled for game time since his move to Inter Milan in the summer. The former Santos man is tipped for big things but has played just 16 minutes all season.
The 20-year-old is said to be growing unhappy with the situation and his agent has recently hinted at a move, which may open the door to a possible move to Merseyside.
As a left sided forward, that may cast doubt over the future of Coutinho at the club, with his transfer stock increasingly rising after his superb first half of the season before injury, but the Daily Star claim that he will be given a new contract to ward off interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Coutinho is reportedly happy at the club and is not seeking a move, but Jurgen Klopp may have his work cut out to keep hold of him if the club fail to tie him down on a new deal.
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