Philippe Coutinho checks in at Melwood ahead of crunch Man United clash as Barcelona speculation intensifies

By Mirror: Thursday, October 12th 2017 at 17:22 GMT +3 | Football

Philippe Coutinho has returned to Melwood ahead of Liverpool's crunch clash with Manchester United after an 11,000-mile round trip on international duty.

The Brazilian playmaker returned to the fold last month after failing to secure a move to Barcelona in the summer.

However, the Catalans will make a fresh bid for the midfielder in January.

Liverpool are desperate to keep hold of their star man, who has been in inspired form for Jurgen Klopp's men.

The Reds host United in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday and Coutinho is expected to start, despite his exploits against Chile on Tuesday.


However, his long-term future at Anfield remains up in the air after the latest comments from Nou Camp chiefs.

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CEO Oscar Grau said on Wednesday: "We are ready to sign Coutinho — or any other player the technical staff request in the winter window."

Barcelona's predicted revenue of £805m for this season – up £170m on last year — will enable them to go back and test Liverpool's resolve once again.

"We want to have the most competitive squad possible. The club will be sustainable, we don't want losses. If that is the case, we will look for means to generate income," said Grau.

"We're presenting figures for this season which are the highest of any club in the world.

"No other teams, even in the NBA and NFL, reach these numbers. The club is on track to hit its target by 2021."

The Anfield board stood firm in the summer and have insisted they will not change that stance.

Coutinho submitted a transfer request in the summer and despite seeing his dream move to the Nou Camp dashed, he has slotted back into Liverpool side and impressed since his return.