Paulinho reveals Barcelona transfer talk with Liverpool's Coutinho

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Barcelona midfielder Paulinho says he has been in touch with Brazil team-mate Philippe Coutinho to discuss a possible transfer to the Spanish giants.

Liverpool forward Coutinho handed in a transfer request in August after LaLiga leaders Barcelona had a bid for the Brazilian rejected, but the Reds turned down a further two offers, with owners Fenway Sports Group publicly stating he was not for sale.

The 25-year-old missed the start of the season with a back problem, but has been outstanding since his return and his stunning opener in the 5-0 Boxing Day demolition of Swansea was his seventh goal in as many games.

However, speculation regarding a Janaury switch to the Nou Camp for Coutinho has continued, and Paulinho – who joined the club from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in August – joked that a property search for Coutinho was already under way.

“I make jokes that people are already looking for a house for him,” Paulinho told mundodeportivo.com.

Paulinho

“I try to give him the basic information, the most important for him and his family, because maybe the time he lived here was not enough to know the city, but he knows that Barcelona is a very good city, that offers everything for him and his family.

“You have to think about the decision you are going to make. What I think is that if you have the opportunity to come, you will not regret it.”

Should any deal go through, Paulinho believes Coutinho will be a good addition to Barcelona’s already impressive attacking options.

“He has a way of playing that everyone observes, both in Liverpool and in Brazil,” he added.

“He is a very fast player, very agile. He gives many options for those who play in the centre of the field, pass options, also looks for free spaces to place the ball and go to goal.

“He can play in two or three positions and I think that will also help the coach and the players. Now I just have to encourage it to happen.”

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Juventus set £140m price for Man United target Dybala, Chelsea eye Vidal

David Cooper 27/12/2017
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Paulo Dybala

Find the latest transfer news right here as the window opens January 1, 2018.

There’s plenty of speculation throughout Europe and here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines on Wednesday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

PAULO DYBALA

Juventus will demand a fee in the region of £140m from Manchester United for the services of Paulo Dybala in January, according to the Independent.

It was previously reported that Jose Mourinho would attempt a £60m move but that figure has been shot down.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

It’s an exorbitant fee but United do reek of desperation at the moment with Manchester City well ahead in the Premier League. It would make more sense to wait until the summer and drive down the price a bit, especially since the league appears to be out of reach already and the Argentine is Champions League bound.

The 24-year-old would be a great asset to have though and should slot in well at United. Mourinho has already hinted that the club need to invest more money in the squad to compete.

Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

ARTURO VIDAL

Antonio Conte has refused to rule out a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, claiming he would ‘go to war’ with the player.

SPORT360 RATING: 5/10

VERDICT

The Chilean very much like the kind of midfielder and character Conte would relish working with. At 31, he still brings plenty of energy and bite into the midfield. However, where exactly does he fit in among the likes of N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas?

Arturo Vidal

Arturo Vidal

MESUT OZIL

United have been heavily linked with a move for Mesut Ozil but Barcelona have now put him on their shopping list, the Express report.

SPORT360 RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Despite his tendency to dip in and out of form, clubs are lining up to sign Ozil. There’s no questioning the German’s quality and he is one of the best bargains around with his contract at Arsenal expiring in the summer.

Barcelona would love to take advantage of that and reel in a playmaker capable of replacing Andres Iniesta as a regular starter perhaps and even lighten the creative responsibilities on Lionel Messi’s shoulders. As for the player, it would be a massive step up. If he moves in January itself, he’ll probably have a league winner’s medal around his neck at the end of the campaign.

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil

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Balotelli not leaving Nice in January

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Balotelli will not be moving in the winter transfer window.

Mario Balotelli will not be leaving Nice in January, according to club president Jean-Pierre Riviere.

The 27-year-old, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season, revealed in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport that he is keen to showcase his talents in the Champions League.

Balotelli said he is happy at Nice but told the Italian newspaper: “Admittedly, I would like to get back to having a strong squad behind me.

“I want to play in the Champions League and win something. The aim is to go back to a big club. To win something important again.”

But the former Manchester City striker, who claims his time at the Etihad was “the best year of my life”, will not be leaving France in this transfer window.

Riviere told Nice-Matin newspaper: “It is impossible. You know how important he is, it is unimaginable.

“Thanks to his performances, he has rediscovered a certain value on the market with another 1.5 years of his contract remaining… That is not what interests us for Mario, but instead that he continues to take the team higher.

“It is a wonderful story with him.”

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