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Barcelona set sights on Liverpool target as Coutinho alternative

Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern are surprised but pleased with the reports they’ve read, which suggest their star could stay.

Reports in Argentina claim Barcelona are interested in a move for West Ham ace Manuel Lanzini, a player who’s been targeted by Liverpool as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho should the Brazilian move to Catalonia.

The Reds have been standing firm on their demands, as have Borussia Dortmund with Ousmane Dembele, and Barcelona have been left exploring alternative options, which include Lanzini and his compatriot Angel Di Maria.

24-year-old Lanzini has impressed in his two Premier League seasons since joining the Hammers and a move to Barcelona may be difficult to turn down, even if Ernesto Valverde is still chasing Di Maria and would likely play Lanzini as second-fiddle to the Paris Saint-Germain ace.

Whilst it’s bad news for West Ham, it’s good for Liverpool as it seems that Barcelona are finally accepting that a deal for Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to go ahead and it means the Reds can focus on moving forward.

Landlord’s Verdict

Manuel Lanzini is a very talented footballer but whether he’s up to Barcelona’s standards is debatable. If they’re looking for a replacement for Andres Iniesta, he probably isn’t the right man. Then again, the Catalan side can’t afford a player who would be.

A sale of Lanzini would shatter West Ham but it would be superb for Liverpool if this news is genuine, as it means they can keep Coutinho on their books. However, he may be frustrated by not being allowed to secure this move.

Liverpool fans, what do you make of this? Let us know in the comments below.

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