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Klopp Countering Coutinho to Spain Rumours with Raid of Barcelona B

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The Liverpool boss has dispatched scouts to assess promising Blaugrana reserves.

Liverpool Training Session - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Just like in secondary school, where you often found yourself in competition with the popular, richer, better-looking jock in vying for the attentions of a shared love interest, so also has there been no small degree of apprehension among Liverpool fans upon the publication of recent reports from Barcelona mouthpiece, Deporte, that Luis Enrique is now back in for Liverpool talisman, Philippe Coutinho.

On the back of a dazzling start to the season, with O Mágico arguably already registering three goal of the season candidates from his four league strikes to go with his four assists, the plaudits—and the admirers—have streamed in, most notably from the Liga giants.

Jürgen Klopp doesn’t quite strike even the casual observer as the sort to lay down without a fight and has coupled an alleged offer of a new deal to the Brazilian with a lightning counter press on the would-be Catalan suitors in the form of sending scouts to scour the Barcelona B team in search of the sort silver-footed technicians both clubs are particularly desirous of.

Deporte reports that Kiko Espinar, Liverpool’s scout for Spain and Portugal, has been spotted at the Barcelona second team’s matches of recent, and while specific targets have not been identified, the paper has made some speculations. Of potential interest are supposedly, midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum, who has run out for the first team on several occasions, including a goal-scoring cameo in the Copa Del Rey semi-final last season, forward Marc Cardona, a promising young attacker with five goals from four so far this term, and two defenders in Marlon and Nili.

With Klopp declaring the end of Liverpool’s days as a record-setting selling club, the need for not only a top four finish but also a sustained title challenge is potentially now taking on a new urgency, particularly in light of reports that Coutinho’s representatives discreetly reached out to Barcelona at the end of Liverpool’s trophyless, 8th-place league finish last season. When you have the same tastes as the big boys, you have to be prepared to defend your turf.