Euro giants plot January swoop for Liverpool first teamer, club make request to the player

BARCELONA want Philippe Coutinho to refuse to play for Liverpool in the Champions League.

That’s according to Spanish news outlet Don Balon who say Barca are eyeing a January raid for the Brazilian.

However, they want to utilise Coutinho in Europe and won’t be able to if he’s already featured for the Reds.

The midfield sensation was embroiled in a transfer saga with Barcelona after Ernesto Valverde made him a top summer target.

However, the Reds dug their heels in and refused to let their prized asset leave.

Coutinho played for Brazil last week – but he’s yet to feature for Liverpool this term due to a reported back injury.

Jurgen Klopp didn’t include him in the squad that faced Manchester City over the weekend.

Despite their failure to secure his services during the last transfer window, Don Balon say Barca will not give up the hunt.

Former Liverpool star Paul Ince thinks Coutinho now needs to prove his worth in Europe’s elite competition.

He told the Daily Mail: “Philippe Coutinho has to try to copy Luis Suarez the season after he was told he could not leave.

“One thing about Liverpool fans, as long as Coutinho does things the right way, the fans will still love him.

“They will understand the lure of Barcelona and will not hold it against him, just as long as he does not spend his time moping or show the kind of body language Arsenal fans have occasionally seen from Alexis Sanchez.

“Coutinho does not strike me as that type of player.

“There were a few eyebrows raised at Barca’s £120m valuation and he will have to shine in the Champions League to show he is truly worth that kind of money.”

Coutinho has made 14 Champions League appearances during the course of his career.

The 25-year-old is yet to score in Europe’s elite club competition, though.