Liverpool: Fear over Brazilian's departure; Barcelona sensations targeted; Gerrard latest
With speculation continuing to suggest that Phillipe Coutinho will soon put pen to paper on a new long term deal at Anfield to put an end to the rumour mill, Spanish outlet Sport report that the club are concerned that he may be tempted to join forces with his close friend Neymar at Barcelona. The club reportedly believe that they are the only team capable of turning the Brazilian’s head and they still remain confident of retaining the attacking midfielder.
Coutinho has played a vital role in Liverpool’s start to the season and has been in fine form as he has shone under Jurgen Klopp with the German keen to build a team around the former Espanyol midfielder, who spent time at Barcelona’s rivals under now Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino on loan from Inter Milan.
Liverpool could be on the look out for some players from Barcelona though, as Sport also claim that Klopp is eyeing up four different talents from Barcelona B, some of whom have come through the famous La Masia set up which has produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta amongst others. Among those who Klopp is keen on are central defender Marlon Santos, who has travelled with the first team squad to face Manchester City in the Champions League tonight.
The only player of the four identified to have made his debut is midfielder Wilfried Kaptoum, but the Reds are also said to be interested in full-back Nili Perdomo and striker Marc Cardona as they look to recruit some of the brightest young talents from across Europe to ensure that the improvements continue in the years to come.
At the other end of his career is club legend Steven Gerrard, with the Independent reporting that it is now highly likely that he will retire at the end of this MLS season, which could even be this week if LA Galaxy are knocked out of the play-offs by the Colorado Rapids. Gerrard’s contract is set to expire and a new deal looks unlikely, but it will be far from a magical ending with Gerrard most likely to start the game on the bench as he did in the first leg.
Speculation suggests that he could return to Merseyside to work alongside Jurgen Klopp in a coaching set-up, with some sources claiming that the FA are keen to fast track former players like Gerrard through the coaching system to create a new generation of English managers and coaches.
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