Liverpool wreck Barcelona transfer plan with Klopp bristling at ‘betrayal’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

A sense of ‘betrayal’ is behind Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp putting the kibosh on a Barcelona transfer plan ahead of the January window, according to a report.

The La Liga giant are in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis. Their woes led to the departures of several big-name players over the summer, most notably Lionel Messi.

In the hopes of balancing the books, the club also sought to offload former Reds attacker, Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian, 29, has endured a nightmare spell at the Camp Nou since leaving Anfield for a deal potentially rising to a whopping £142m.

Barcelona were claimed to still be on the hook for another £17m in that deal if Coutinho reaches 100 appearances for the club. He currently sits on 93 outings.

But according to Sport Witness (citing Spanish outlet ElNacional), Barcelona hope to avoid that payment by returning Coutinho to Liverpool.

They state Ronald Koeman’s side are ‘hoping to send Coutinho back to Liverpool on loan in January’. In the process, they would seek to include ‘clauses’ within the deal that could lead to a permanent exit down the line.

Bringing Coutinho back on board could appeal to Liverpool in January more than in most windows. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are due to take part in the 2021 AFCON – set to take place in January and early February.

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Coutinho could soften the blow of losing the duo temporarily, though Klopp is seemingly having none of it.

The German reportedly still feels a sense of ‘betrayal’ at the way Coutinho left in 2018. Coutinho pushed for a move in the summer of 2017 and missed their opening matches of the season through an apparent back injury while the window remained open.

To his credit, he was a stand-out performer in the months between the summer and winter windows after the move failed to materialise. Though Coutinho could not be convinced to stay and ultimately departed in January, 2018.

As such, Klopp reportedly has ‘no intention’ of relaying to his superiors he wants Coutinho to return.

Liverpool target dismissed; superior option named

Meanwhile, an ambitious Liverpool target seeking a top-end move may not be the right fit for Liverpool. Instead, a proven Leicester performer would be a better bet, according to a pundit.

Yves Bissouma recently revealed his desire to test himself in the Champions League. And while the Brighton have made a superb start to the campaign, common sense would dictate that objective is more likely to be achieved if moving to a club like Liverpool or Man Utd.

Liverpool have ben linked with the combative midfielder with Bissouma earmarked as a potential Georginio Wijnaldum replacement.

But according to former goalkeeper Paul Robinson, Liverpool should be wary of filling their Wijnaldum-shaped void with the Seagulls star. Instead Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans would be a “better option”.

“I think Tielemans would be a better option for Liverpool than Bissouma,” Robinson told Football Insider. “Does Bissouma fit the bill for Klopp? I’m not so sure.

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“They haven’t got a lot of money to spend, we saw that in the transfer window just gone. Wijnaldum played such a big part for them last season so naturally he will be missed.

“They are light in that area now so I do expect them to bring in another body in that position whether it be in January or next summer. It will be interesting to to see if Liveprool make moves in January.”

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