Report: Real Madrid enter race to sign Philippe Coutinho

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This is not the first time Real Madrid and Barcelona have gone head-to-head to try and sign a player and it certainly won’t be the last.

A report from Mundo Deportivo in Spain say that Real Madrid have contacted Liverpool about trying to sign Coutinho, 25, in January.

The reported fee for the Brazilian playmaker is said to be around $174 million and per the report, Real want to sign him during the January transfer window rather than next summer when competition will be greater for his signature.

Coutinho has already expressed his desire to leave Liverpool for Barcelona when multiple bids from the Catalan club were turned down in the summer transfer window.

The Brazilian star has since been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain to link up with his good friend and former Barca star Neymar, while his form on the pitch has been up and down despite stunning goals against Leicester and Newcastle in the Premier League.

Which club would suit Coutinho best?

Quite simply, he’s the type of player who could slot into any team and make it better but it would seem that Barcelona would be his best fit as a direct replacement for Andres Iniesta who isn’t getting any younger. At Real he would have plenty of competition from Isco, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric for a role in the center of the pitch but you can understand why the reigning European champs are considering a bid for Coutinho.

With Zinedine Zidane’s men struggling at the start of the season in La Liga and the Champions League, pipping Barca to the signing of Coutinho would give everyone a boost at the Santiago Bernabeu and also give them a chance of kicking on in the second half of the season.

Still, Liverpool would have to agree to sell Coutinho and with Jurgen Klopp and Co. incredibly reliant on the Brazilian forward, it seems as if that’s unlikely, particularly in January with the Reds all but sealing qualification to the Champions League knockout stages. That said, Liverpool are 12 points off leaders Manchester City already and by January their title hopes could be over.

Maybe that would be a good time to cash in on Coutinho and bring in defensive reinforcements.