Barcelona Transfer Rumors: Liverpool Eyes Sergi Roberto For Philippe Coutinho, Javier Mascherano Move To China

Manu FernandezAP Images

Only a few weeks to go before the winter transfer window opens, and Barcelona transfer rumors continue to emerge even as the Catalan giants are still on top of the 2017-2018 La Liga table.

Right now, Barca is five points clear of second-place Valencia and eight points ahead of arch-rival Real Madrid, who are in the fourth position. Atletico Madrid rounds up the top four, seven points below the Blaugrana.

Liverpool Wants Sergi Roberto In Exchange For Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona and Liverpool are said to be in disagreement about who could transfer to Merseyside as part of the potential deal that would send Philippe Coutinho to Spain. Barca manager Ernesto Valverde has approved a move for forward Gerard Deulofeu, but the Reds wanted Sergi Roberto instead, according to Caught Offside.

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp had rejected Barca’s previous offers of either Arda Turan or Andre Gomes as the English Premier League club is fond of the 25-year-old Roberto.

Deulofeu, 23, was formerly deemed as one of Barcelona’s best home-grown attackers. However, he failed to live up to expectations at Camp Nou, scoring only a single goal in nine appearances so far this season.

Klopp is reportedly looking for someone to immediately fill in the spot of Coutinho should the deal push through, and he considers Deulofeu as too raw to be a major attacking piece at the moment.

Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho.Featured image credit: Dan IstiteneGetty Images

However, the report noted that Klopp may eventually “gamble” on Deulofeu as the Spaniard has shown a lot of promise given the fact that he is presently surrounded by a lot of star players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Andres Iniesta.

Javier Mascherano Planning A Move To China?

There are rumors saying that veteran defender Javier Mascherano could be the latest European big-name to move to China.

FTN reported that Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune would be targeting Mascherano when the winter window opens next month. Hebei is currently coached by former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The report noted that a January switch might not be workable for the 33-year-old Argentine, though, as Barca is still missing the services of fellow defender Samuel Umtiti at the moment. But with China’s winter window closing in late February, a transfer during that month would still be possible.

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano
Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano.Featured image credit: Michael ReganGetty Images

SB Nation’s Barca Blaugranes blog said that Barcelona is looking at Palmeiras center-back Yerry Mina as a potential replacement for Mascherano. However, it was also said that Barca has yet to contact the Colombian for a likely January move.