LIVERPOOL ‘BRACED’ FOR COUTINHO OFFER
As yet, there has been no new Philippe Coutinho bid, but it is only January 1 after all; this could be a long month for Liverpool fans. This weekend saw the Nike farrago and then tweets from a well-informed Brazilian journalist claiming that the deal will be done within days, but it is to The Times’ Paul Joyce that we turn for an update from Merseyside.
He writes: ‘Barcelona will have to table a huge bid far in excess of the £118 million offer rejected in the summer for Liverpool to even consider allowing Philippe Coutinho to leave in the transfer window…Coutinho wants to move to the Nou Camp and Liverpool are braced for another offer.’
AND THE NEW COUTINHO IS…
West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini, according to The Sun. They claim he is Liverpool’s first choice to replace Coutinho is he joins Barcelona. The Hammers would want more than £40m for the Argentine, but at 24, he would be seen as a sound investment.
The Hammers paid less than £10m or Lanzini so would make a tidy profit, though any sale in January would cause uproar among fans who know their survival chances largely rest on his shoulders.
REAL COME ON STRONG FOR HAZARD
‘REAL MADRID are preparing an opening £120million bid for Chelsea’s unsettled superstar Eden Hazard,’ claim The Sun, who are starting the new year with a bang of transfer exclusives.
You may remember that the Belgian’s father said last week: “Eden has refused a contract extension to able, if necessary, to follow interest from Real Madrid.” So even though Chelsea are offering £300,000 a week, he would prefer to join his hero Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
AND THE REST
Southampton want to sign Arsenal winger Theo Walcott on loan in January…Watford, West Ham and Everton are also keen…Tottenham are in no rush to agree a new contract with defender Toby Alderweireld…Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun is expected to complete his move to Everton this week in a deal worth £7.5m.