Barcelona make Philippe Coutinho strategy as Liverpool consider selling in January | Football | Sport

According to Spanish publication Don Balon Barcelona are not ready to pay over the odds during the season.

Reports yesterday claimed Liverpool would be willing to discuss a deal for £120million.

But Barcelona are now reported to be willing to pay no more than £87m in the January window.

It is claimed they will consider alternatives if that is not enough and come back to Liverpool with another offer in the summer.

Barca made Coutinho their No 1 target in the summer and had three bids rejected, but are preparing another approach for next month.

However after starting the season well, and topping La Liga after Real Madrid’s shambolic start, they are not willing to spend so much next month.

They have also had to factor in the expense of Lionel Messi’s new contract and are trying to balance the books.

Mesut Ozil has been mooted as an alternative to Coutinho as has Schalke ace Leon Goretzka.

Both are out of contract in the summer so would be considerably cheaper in January.

Ozil though would demand a huge signing on fee and Arsene Wenger has insisted he will stay unless an unbelievable offer comes in.

Coutinho opened the door for a move to the Nou Camp in January last week by admitted he’d be interested.

He said: “I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

“I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters.

“Last summer there was a job offer [from Barcelona] in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed, I have played with will and desire.”

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