Liverpool prepare £88m January bid for Philippe Coutinho replacement

Philippe Coutinho

Cape Town - Barcelona veteran Andres Iniesta hopes to see Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina join the club in January.

Having top-scored for the club in all competitions last term, Coutinho has struck nine times already this season - including a hat-trick as captain in the 7-0 Champions League rout against Spartak Moscow.

Coutinho even handed in the transfer request to force his exit but Barcelona had to abandon the pursuit on deadline day due to Liverpool's high demands.

They do not want the negotiations to hang around until the end of the January window and it has been claimed that they are keen to agree on all the relevant details by the end of the month.

Coutinho was only named as a substitute as Liverpool were held by Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday afternoon.

Coutinho was already poised to move to Barcelona in the summer.

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"I think the way he's helped me to play when we don't have the ball, when the team is under pressure, is really different", he said.

"You need to not only have the sufficient quality and ability to play here but also to have a strong enough character - it is important to think of this before making signings".

Gossip has also linked both players with Arsenal in a similar part-exchange for Mesut Ozil. Javi is still an important player for us.

And according to Balague, speaking to Sky Sports, while Barcelona are preparing a new bid for the 25-year-old, they are not "very optimistic" of sealing a deal.

"They would be two big signings for us, but at the moment they are both at different clubs and nothing has happened, so we can not talk".

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