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Despite Barcelona pursuing Philippe Coutinho for the entire summer, throwing money at Liverpool as if they were Floyd Mayweather in a Las Vegas strip club, it would appear that not everyone at the Camp Nou believes the Brazilian is a necessary investment.
Barca were reported to have made several bids north of £100 million for Coutinho, with Liverpool refusing to alter their stance on refusing to sell the 25-year-old, frustrating the Catalan club as they sought to bolster their squad after the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
The former Internazionale youngster was left distraught at the clubs' failure to come to an agreement and reportedly told Jurgen Klopp that he had no interest in remaining at Anfield. However, a move was not forthcoming and Coutinho has continued as a Liverpool player, scoring four goals in eight appearances for the Reds, this term.
Today, however, Spanish media outlet Diario Gol are reporting, via the Express that Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic have told club management that the Brazilian isn't needed at Camp Nou and have asked for the club to reconsider their planned move for Coutinho in January.
Iniesta and Rakitic aren't believed to be too happy with Barcelona's pursuit of Philippe Coutinho, who's arrival would impact on their own playing time. Images: PA
The reason behind Iniesta and Rakitic's pleas to the Blaugrana board is due to both players believing Coutinho's potential arrival will affect their own playing time, with the Brazilian seen as Iniesta's long term replacement who would then also provide more competition for midfield berths, which would also impact Rakitic's first team chances.
Barca used a large chunk of the Neymar windfall to bring Ousmane Dembele to the Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth a reported £135 million. The Frenchman suffered a ruptured tendon early on into his Barcelona career, however, and was immediately ruled out until the new year.
Coutinho was reportedly left distraught after no move to the Camp Nou materialised over the summer. Image: PA
The injury to Dembele hasn't impacted Ernesto Valverde's team too much, though, with Barca sitting atop La Liga, four points clear of second placed Valencia and five clear of Real Madrid in third place. Yet with Iniesta 33-years-old and struggling with injuries over the last couple of seasons, it's clear that eventually the great man will need replacing, and Coutinho is expected to be the Barcelona board's preferred choice to step into Iniesta's boots once he calls time on his career.
Reports in Spain suggest that Barca could test Liverpool's resolve again as early as January, but will likely be met by the same resistance they faced over the summer, making a summer move more likely, despite Iniesta and Rakitic's protests.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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