Barcelona open preliminary talks with Coutinho’s agent: Suarez could influence transfer

BARCELONA officials have met with Philippe Coutinho to open initial talks about a move to the Nou Camp.

Coutinho has been strongly linked with the Catalans, where he could link up with compatriot and friend Neymar.

But Liverpool have the upper hand after tying the Brazilian star to a new deal until 2022.

Nevertheless Barcelona are planning to overhaul their squad this summer after a difficult season.

And Coutinho is at the forefront of their transfer targets.

According to Spanish daily SPORT, there have been meetings between Barcelona and Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian to discuss terms.

It is claimed Coutinho’s salary would put him in the wage bracket of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique but below Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

The report says Barcelona will have difficulty convincing Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp to sell Coutinho.

However the Spanish giants reckon Liverpool could soften their stance if a deal similar to the £65million Suarez transfer in 2014 is proposed.