Guillem Balague replies when asked if Philippe Coutinho will leave Liverpool FC in January

Guillem Balague says Philippe Coutinho is more likely to leave Liverpool FC next summer than in January

philippe coutinho
Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho Photo: Philippe Coutinho / Instagram

Guillem Balague has played down the chances of Philippe Coutinho leaving Liverpool to sign for Barcelona in January – but says that he could move next summer.

Coutinho was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer window and the Brazilian even handed in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move to Camp Nou.

However, Liverpool held firm and refused to sell their talisman to the Spanish club.

Coutinho has since been reintegrated into the first team at Anfield and has been in fine form for Jurgen Klopp’s men since making his return.

There have inevitably been suggestions that Barcelona could return with a fresh bid to try and sign Coutinho in the January transfer window.

However, Spanish football expert Balague believes that is unlikely to happen.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Balague said: “We know Barcelona want Coutinho.

“They will realise in the next month or so, with games against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao that they still need this kind of quality in their line up or for the squad.

“I don’t see Liverpool getting rid of Coutinho in January at all, but summer is a completely different story.”

Coutinho was unable to help Liverpool break the deadlock and beat Manchester United on Saturday as the Reds were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Jose Mourinho’s men at Anfield.

The Brazilian will be hoping to inspire Liverpool to their first Champions League group stage victory of the season when they take on Maribor in Europe’s elite club competition on Tuesday night.

MORE: Latest Liverpool FC news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane (Photo: Screen grab / Sky Sports)
Roy Keane reacts to Man United's collapse in 2-2 draw at Aston Villa
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Man City v Chelsea FC
Paul Merson
‘I’m worried’: Paul Merson predicts Aston Villa v Man United
Gossip
Ralf Rangnick
Journalist: Man United have made offer to agents of Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria
Paul Merson
‘I’d be shocked’ if they lost: Paul Merson predicts Tottenham v Arsenal
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane (Photo: Screen grab / Sky Sports)
Roy Keane reacts to Man United's collapse in 2-2 draw at Aston Villa
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Man City v Chelsea FC
Paul Merson
‘I’m worried’: Paul Merson predicts Aston Villa v Man United
Gossip
Ralf Rangnick
Journalist: Man United have made offer to agents of Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria
Paul Merson
‘I’d be shocked’ if they lost: Paul Merson predicts Tottenham v Arsenal
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature