By Guy Giles
Liverpool are in pole position to sign Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, but a deal for the German international could mean that Coutinho is sold to Barcelona, according to a report.
Spanish outlet Don Balon claim that Goretzka, 22, has told Barcelona he does not want a move to Nou Camp, and instead wants to play in the Premier League.
They also claim that he has an agreement to move to Liverpool in January.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are his preferred destination, but a move to bring Goretzka to Anfield could see Coutinho finally get his protracted move to Barca.
The report claims that Goretzka believes the Premier League is the best fit for his playing style, and Liverpool could bring him in for around £35million.
It is also said that Barcelona may have to pay around £160million if they want to bring in the Brazilian international Coutinho.
Football Insider verdict:
Goretzka has been touted as Germany’s next big talent, with the 22-year-old now wanted by several of Europe’s top clubs. It seems inevitable that he will leave Schalke in the near future, with the Gelsenkirchen club unable to provide him with the platform he needs. A move to Barcelona would be at the top of most players’ lists, but maybe Goretzka believes he has more of a chance to become a star at Liverpool. Playing under compatriot Klopp may also be a big draw for the midfielder as he looks to push his game to the next level. Goretzka would provide Liverpool with a top replacement for Coutinho, with the Brazilian still likely to push through a move to Catalonia. The arrival of the German international would soften the blow of Coutinho leaving, as would the touted £160million.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Premier League rivals Manchester City are plotting a shock swoop for this Reds midfielder.