Liverpool are rightly pinning their title hopes on star man Philippe Coutinho after his phenomenal start to the season.
The Brazilian has scored six goals and created five assists for the Reds, making a nonsense of fears that Jurgen Klopp’s side could be undone by their lack of a top out-and-out striker.
The success of their current attacking formula has often left Daniel Sturridge sidelined altogether, sparking rumours he could be on his way out of Anfield.
Yet, Coutinho’s own future is far from certain.
Barcelona have made no secret of their admiration for the 24-year-old, and they’ve never shied away from unsettling players in the past.
It seems they’re at it again. Barca legend Xavi has already started speaking about the prospect of the playmaker joining the Catalans, telling Goal:
“Coutinho is a player I have always thought is special – but under Klopp he has gone up another level. On form there are not any better midfield players in Europe.
“When you play at the level he is there is always going to be talk, but for now he needs to ignore all that and stay focused, because I think Liverpool have a real chance this season.”
That sounds fairly innocuous, but Xavi added:
“There are not many players that can improve Barcelona, but if you are asking me if he is one of them, on this form, I think he is. Technically he is very good. He would suit Barcelona’s philosophy well.”
Liverpool are actually yet to receive an official approach, but it could be that Luis Enrique’s men are working behind the scenes, putting in the groundwork first.
Coutinho doesn’t have a buyout clause in his contract, so Liverpool would not be forced to sell if they didn’t want to. There’s every danger, though, that regardless of how their title race plays out, the player himself may want to follow in the footsteps of Luis Suarez and head for the La Liga champions.