After suddenly being withdrawn from Liverpool’s squad to face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, speculation over Philippe Coutinho’s future intensified.
Barcelona want Coutinho to replace Neymar , after his world record £199 million switch to PSG was completed last week.
Initially the Reds were adamant that their main asset would not be going anywhere this summer, but signs in the last few days suggest that the Brazilian could be heading to the Nou Camp, although Barcelona could face late competition for Coutinho with PSG reportedly keen to deal another serious body blow to the Spanish giants .
Should Coutinho move to Spain, it could spark a rush of transfer activity as the big boys look to plug the holes in their squad.
Here’s how the cash could flow as clubs continue to flex their financial muscles…
Philippe Coutinho: Liverpool to Barcelona
After losing Neymar to PSG, Barcelona will be desperate to replace him and sign another big name to form the third part of Europe’s deadliest front three alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
The Catalans are looking to bounce back from a disappointing season that saw them lose their La Liga crown to Real Madrid and get dumped out of the Champions League at the quarter final stage, making the need to bring in a replacement for Neymar even more crucial.
Coutinho has been Liverpool’s standout player over the last three years, and his skillful style of play suits Barca to the ground making him the ideal man to fill Neymar’s shoes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Arsenal to Liverpool
If they lose Coutinho, Liverpool will desperately need a creative midfielder particularly with Adam Lallana out long term with a thigh injury, and they could turn to Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has blown hot and cold since his move to the Emirates in 2011, but with only a year left on his contract he could be on the move.
With no Lallana and probably no Coutinho there will be a slot in the England international’s favoured central role on offer at Anfield, whereas he’s been deployed as a wing-back as part of Arsenal’s change to a 3-4-3 formation in recent months.
A very different sort of player to Coutinho, but one that can make things happen which is the sort of player the Reds are after.
Thomas Lemar: Monaco to Arsenal
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been keen on Monaco winger Thomas Lemar all summer, but should he lose Oxlade-Chamberlain another wide man will be a top priority.
The 21-year-old scored 14 goals for the French champions last season, meaning he would ease some of the goal scoring burden on Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette.
Despite not having the lure of Champions League football Arsenal have already persuaded Lacazette to switch the French league for the Emirates and Lemar is now said to be keen to follow suit.
Monaco are holding out for £50 million for Lemar after already losing Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy.