Transfer Rumors Central: Barcelona Eyes Philippe Coutinho, Real Madrid Plans $160M Eden Hazard Bid, And More

Matt DunhamAP Images

The January transfer window has just opened and a lot of transfer rumors are now swirling around the world’s biggest leagues. La Liga’s two most popular teams, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, are in the middle of the rumor mill right now with separate potential blockbuster deals reportedly imminent.

Barca Targets Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reportedly left Brazilian sensation Philippe Coutinho at home ahead of the team’s Premier League clash with Burnley at the Turf Moor on Monday. The Reds went on to win the game, 2-1, with goals from Sadio Mane and Ragnar Klavan without Coutinho.

There are rumors that Klopp is preparing his squad for Coutinho’s departure to Spain, but the German manager insisted that the attacking midfielder’s absence is because of a thigh injury, as per Metro.

Coutinho, 25, has been missing practice since New Year’s Eve, amidst speculations of an impending winter transfer to the Nou Camp.

ESPN reported that Liverpool is demanding an “astronomical fee” to give up Coutinho, who is a long-time target of the Blaugrana. Barca reportedly came close to signing the Brazilian last summer, submitting three expensive offers, but the Reds have rejected all bids.

Rumors are out that Barca would be running after Coutinho again during this winter window.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Jurgen Klopp Liverpool
Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho (left) and manager Jurgen Klopp could be set for a break up soon.Featured image credit: Clive BrunskillGetty Images

Real Madrid Set To Offer Chelsea $160M For Eden Hazard

Barcelona arch-rivals Real Madrid is also speculated to pull off a blockbuster transfer this January as rumors went out that the defending champions are preparing an astonishing $160 million offer to Chelsea for Eden Hazard as an “opening bid,” The Sun reported.

Real is said to be on a lookout for potential Galactico signings this winter as mainstay Gareth Bale has been sidelined by injuries for most of the season. Bale, 28, has only played six times in La Liga this season, scoring only two goals, as Los Blancos continues to struggle in the Spanish top-flight.

The capital city club is currently fourth in the league table, 14 points behind their league-leading rivals. This is the lowest Real had been since the 2003-2004 season.

The report noted that Real is ready to “smash the British transfer record” in order to sign the Belgian goalscorer, who is also considered as one of the top playmakers in the world today.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard
Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.Featured image credit: Clive RoseGetty Images

Other Rumors

Meanwhile, Premier League giants Manchester United is rumored to be close to submitting its bid to Atletico Madrid for forward Antoine Griezmann.

According to the Daily Express, manager Jose Mourinho is “urging United’s hierarchy” to offer a $116 million bid for the France international in an effort to “salvage” the club’s season.

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.Featured image credit: Paul WhiteAP Images

United is currently second in the English top-flight table with 47 points in 22 games, 12 points below league-leaders and cross-city rivals Manchester City.

The Red Devils acquired Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton last summer, while also keeping Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which had created expectations of a title run this season.