Football transfer rumours: Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona?

Today’s tell-all is over the moon

Try as they might, Liverpool fans just can’t make those Philippe Coutinho-to-Barcelona rumours go away, as the name of their Brazilian playmaker continues to be mentioned in conjunction with a switch from Anfield to Camp Nou. Although Barcelona’s sporting director Roberto Fernandez has stated he expects Andrés Iniesta to stay at the Catalan club once his current contract expires in the summer of 2018, his employers are believed to have identified Coutinho and PSG midfielder Marco Verratti as potential long term replacements for a 32-year-old who has given no indication that he is particularly interested in inking a new deal.

Meanwhile in Manchester, Pep Guardiola will attempt to tighten up the most porous defence he’s ever been forced to work with by making a ridiculous offer to Juventus for their centre-half Leonardo Bonucci. Weekend reports suggested City are also confident they can lure Lionel Messi to the Etihad on the back of Barcelona’s apparent reluctance to meet the Argentinian’s wage demands. Along with Chelsea, City are also ready to turn their money-cannon in the direction of Turin in the hope of power-hosing Juventus with enough money to convince them to part company with Kingsley Coman, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich and will stay there if the German champions get their way.

As Everton fans resign themselves to the prospect of losing Romelu Lukaku, they can perhaps take some consolation from the fact their club is being linked with a move for talented Swansea City frontman Gylfi Sigurdsson. Everton have previously had big-money bids for the Icelandic superstar rejected and are likely to face further opposition if, as seems increasingly likely, Swansea retain their Premier League status. Everton may also find themselves bidding so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night to Ross Barkley, who remains a person of interest to those staffing the recruitment departments of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Monaco midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko is a man in big demand and was scouted by both Arsenal and Manchester United during his side’s win against Manchester City last week. The Mirror says the 22-year-old is likely to reject overtures from both clubs and sign for Chelsea, who have lined him up in their crosshairs after been rejected by his Roma counterpart Radja Nainggolan.

Assorted European clubs have been hitching their skirts and pouting in the direction of Malian international Moussa Marega, who has been attracting attention with his performances for Portuguese side Vitória de Guimarães, where he is on loan from Porto. Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund are all after a striker who was playing in the sixth tier of French football as recently as three years ago.

“Nobody knows anything,” is the famous adage of two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman and in the case of the managerial line of succession at Arsenal he certainly seems to be on the money. The lead story on the sport section of German newspaper Bild claims Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has been sounded out by the Gunners as a potential replacement for Arsène Wenger.

Whether or not there’s any truth to it is anyone’s guess, although the media consensus closer to the Emirates seems to be that Wenger is determined to remain in charge of a group of players who showed little or no interest in trying a leg for him in abject defeat against West Brom on Saturday. Baggies’ boss Tony Pulis joked after the game that Wenger had told him he was planning on staying on as manager and if this is the case we can only hope the Frenchman makes his announcement by having an airborne banner signalling his intention dragged across the sky over the Emirates at Arsenal’s next home game.

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