Barcelona losing hope of signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, says Guillem Balague

Philippe Coutinho celebrates after giving Liverpool the lead
Image: Philippe Coutinho celebrates his goal for Liverpool against Arsenal

Barcelona are "not optimistic" about signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the January transfer window, according to Guillem Balague.

The Brazilian was the subject of multiple offers from Barcelona in the summer and speculation surrounding his future has intensified again ahead of the January transfer window, but Balague insists Liverpool's stance has not changed.

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Click here to listen to the latest Transfer Talk podcast where the futures of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Virgil van Dijk, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho were discussed

"Liverpool don't want to sell Coutinho," Balague told Sky Sports after Barcelona's 3-0 win over Real Madrid in Saturday's Clasico. "That's where they stand right now, so Barcelona are not optimistic about the possibility of Coutinho going there.

"Obviously they will try and they want to make an offer in January, but even Coutinho's entourage are thinking it probably won't happen, because Liverpool are saying the same as what they said in the summer: 'We are not interested in selling'."

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Coutinho has been outstanding for Liverpool this season, scoring his 11th goal of the campaign in their 3-3 draw with Arsenal on Friday Night Football, but he is not Barcelona's only big-money transfer target.

Balague says Barcelona remain eager to bring in Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann in the summer, and if that happens, it could spell the end of their pursuit of Coutinho.

"Barcelona want Greizmann, no doubt about it," said Balague. "They are willing to pay the 100m euros that he will cost from the 1st of June.

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"They have met his family, even his sister, who looks after his financial affairs, which is why Atletico Madrid have gone to FIFA and said that this is not supposed to happen.

"Barcelona have got Griezmann as number one target, at the same level of Coutinho, but I don't think they can get both players."

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