Transfer rumor roundup: The latest on Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool and Barcelona

FC Yahoo
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/philippe-coutinho/" data-ylk="slk:Philippe Coutinho">Philippe Coutinho</a> is reportedly agitating for a move to <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/barcelona/" data-ylk="slk:Barcelona">Barcelona</a>. (Getty)
Philippe Coutinho is reportedly agitating for a move to Barcelona. (Getty)

Every weekday afternoon throughout January, FC Yahoo will weed through the topsy-turvy world of transfer gossip and bring you a roundup of the top rumors of the past 24 hours. But first, a note on what the roundup will entail. Because it won’t just be pure aggregation.

Not all transfer rumors are created equal. Some deserve your attention. Some don’t. So every roundup will be divided into four sections.

First, there are the reports – news on a player and clubs, usually from reputable sources, that appear to be substantive. They often include specific information, like a timetable, a potential transfer fee, a meeting location, a negotiation obstacle, or other details.

Second, there is chatter – details regarding previously reported or rumored negotiations that are interesting, but don’t include concrete suggestions that a deal could be near.

Third, there are the rumors – the links between player and club(s) that are probably just speculative and unfounded. They’re usually from tabloids that have a long history of, for lack of a better phrase, spewing BS. So you probably should ignore them. But just in case you want to indulge, we’ll have you covered.

And finally, at the bottom of every roundup will be a running list of the done deals that have caught our attention – the ones officially announced by clubs.

Wednesday, Jan. 3


Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton — The latest developments: Besiktas president Fikret Orman said Wednesday the most lucrative offer the club had received (and turned down) was from China. But, “Cenk wants Everton.” Negotiations, therefore, are ongoing. Orman is reportedly set to meet with Everton officials in London.

Additionally, there have been suggestions that the deal is contingent upon Besiktas securing a replacement. The Turkish champs are reportedly interested in taking Leicester City striker Islam Slimani on loan until the end of the season.

Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal — The Gunners, according to nearly every single British media outlet, at the least are “in advanced talks to sign” the 20-year-old Greek defender, and at most have already sealed the deal. It will reportedly cost Arsenal around £2 million.

Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke — Schalke has confirmed it has an agreement in place to bring Pjaca to Germany on loan for the remainder of the season. The 22-year-old Croatian attacking midfielder will be in Gelsenkirchen Thursday for a medical. He hasn’t seen the field for Juve this season, and has struggled with injuries since joining from Dinamo Zagreb in 2016, but was a highly-rated prospect when he initially moved to Italy.


The latest on Philippe Coutinho — Although it makes very little sense for Liverpool and Barcelona to strike a deal in January, as opposed to over the summer, there appears to be movement on the Coutinho front. Sky Sports’ Guillem Ballague reported Wednesday that Barcelona is preparing a bid of €110 million plus €40 million in incentive-based add-ons. After three bids in the summer, this would be Barca’s biggest yet.

Ballague also reported that “Liverpool have softened their stance, and are willing to listen,” a sentiment that has been echoed by others in the know. A separate report out of Spain stated that Coutinho – who missed Monday’s game at Burnley with an “injury,” and who apparently won’t feature in Friday’s FA Cup clash with Everton – has told Liverpool he doesn’t want to play for the club again. He clearly wants to go to Barcelona – that much is not news – but refusing to play would take things a step further.

Yahoo Sports’ Duncan Castles reported that Liverpool and Barcelona were scheduled to hold discussions on Wednesday.

The latest on Emre Can — Can is on an expiring contract, and has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus. Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport recently reported that Can is likely to sign with Juve in January. But Sky Germany reported that Can won’t leave Liverpool in January. Instead, he’ll see out the remaining months of his current contract, and then either re-up with Liverpool or bolt for Italy. The latter appears to be the most likely scenario. Remember, as of Monday, Can can negotiate with both clubs.

Samuel Umtiti and the Man City links — Umtiti only just signed with Barcelona prior to last season, but has a €60 million release clause. The release clause, and Umtiti’s impressive performances at Camp Nou, spurred talk of Man City triggering it. There were reports that City had met with Umtiti’s camp about the club’s vision. But Mundo Deportivo’s Miguel Rico reported Wednesday that Umtiti has reaffirmed his commitment to Barca.

Accelerated Naby Keita deal looks unlikely — Keita is set to join Liverpool on July 1. RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff told German outlet Bild that the transfer’s timeline hasn’t changed. “Neither Naby nor his agent have made the request to leave the club in the winter,” Mintzlaff said.


Harry Kane | Tottenham —> Real Madrid
Gareth Bale | Real Madrid —> Tottenham — Spanish outlet Sport says Madrid is planning to supplement a €150 million offer for Kane with Bale. News flash: A Kane-Bale swap deal probably isn’t going to actually happen. It definitely isn’t going to happen in January. But as far as clickbait-y rumors go, this is far from the most outlandish.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan | Manchester United —> Inter Milan
Joao Mario | Inter Milan —> Manchester United — There have been several Mkhitaryan-to-Inter rumors over the past month. Over the past few days, there have been multiple Joao Mario-to-United rumors. On Wednesday, Corriere dello Sport combined them into talk of a swap deal – a deal that, for several reasons, would make sense. But these are nothing more than rumors at this point.

Thomas Lemar | Monaco —> Liverpool — Yahoo Sports’ Duncan Castles reported that the Reds have lined up Lemar as a Coutinho replacement, and that the French winger, who turned down Arsenal on deadline day in August, has talked with Liverpool and would welcome the move.

Lassana Diarra | Free agent —> PSG — PSG needs cover for holding midfielder Thiago Motta. Reports out of France suggest the Parisians could swoop for the 32-year-old Diarra, who last played for Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates. We’ll keep it as a rumor for now, but this sounds real. And even if Diarra is toward the back end of his career, it sounds logical, too.

Jean-Michael Seri | Nice —> PSG — PSG is also reportedly considering Seri, but this sounds more like pure speculation from untrustworthy tabloids.

Manu Trigueros | Villareal —> ChelseaSpanish outlet Gol Digital claims Antonio Conte is interested in Trigueros, a 26-year-old central midfielder who has had somewhat of a breakout season in La Liga.

Alisson | Roma —> Liverpool OR PSGGazetta says both are chasing Brazil’s No. 1.

Ibrahim Amadou | Lille —> Crystal Palace — With both Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho injured, Palace needs defenders. It has reportedly put in a £16 million bid for Amadou, a 24-year-old who can also play defensive midfield – another area where Palace could use some reinforcements.

Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> LA Galaxy — This isn’t the first rumor to connect Sneijder to a Los Angeles team. He has been linked to MLS expansion side LAFC in the past. But L’Equipe in France says Sneijder is in talks with the Galaxy.

Joe Allen | Stoke —> West Ham — David Moyes reportedly wants Allen, though there is no reason for Stoke to let him leave. Some reports indicate West Ham had a bid rejected. Moyes is also reportedly interested in William Carvalho, Steven N’Zonzi and other central midfielders.


Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)
Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool (£75 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€60 million)
Vitolo | Sevilla —> Atletico Madrid (€37.5 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City (£22 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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