Philippe Coutinho is said to be keen on Barcelona, Arsenal want Besiktas pair and Spurs want ‘new Hazard’.
COUTINHO WANTS BARCA MOVE
Massive pinch of salt needed here because of the price tag mentioned by Spanish newspaper Sport – just £22m – but they claim that Philippe Coutinho is very much up for the idea of leaving Liverpool for Barcelona. It says here that the Brazilian is ‘more than willing to wear the Barca shirt’, though we suspect that Liverpool would be rather less than willing to sell one of their most valuable players for just £22m.
Predictably, the Spanish are also suggesting that Real Madrid could be interested in Coutinho.
Here’s what Coutinho said last week when asked about Neymar’s comments on his suitability for Barcelona:
“I heard what Neymar said on the internet but I want to do well with Liverpool. I am happy here and I hope this season will go well for us. Of course it is a nice thing he [Neymar] said. Everyone knows he’s my friend.”
ARSENAL LINKED WITH BESIKTAS PAIR
The pair in question are Gokhan Tore and Oguzhan Ozyakup. According to reports in Turkey, they are both available for £15m and are both piquing the interest of the Gunners.
Let’s start with Tore – the Turkish international started his career with Bayer Leverkusen but moved to Chelsea as a teenager before ending up in Turkey via Hamburg and Rubin Kazan. He is 23 and largely plays as a right-sided attacking midfielder (though he can play in any position behind a striker). So far this season he has claimed five assists in the Turkish league.
Ozyakup is also 23 and actually started his career with Arsenal but left three years ago for Besiktas. He has been converted into a defensive midfielder this season but has still claimed four assists from that deeper-lying position.
TOTTENHAM LIKE ‘NEW HAZARD’
Lille playmaker Sofiane Boufa is the man in question and the Evening Standard claim the 22-year-old has been watched several times by Tottenham. He cost Lille just £3m from Angers in January but claimed three goals and six assists in the final seven games of the Ligue 1 season. According to the Standard:
‘The fee for Martial is likely to inflate the French market when clubs are allowed to trade again in January, meaning the £12million offer Spurs were considering for Boufal in August would probably be rejected.’