Belfast Telegraph

Barcelona will NOT come back for Philippe Coutinho while Liverpool's German target praises Reds and Costa hopeful of Atletico move: transfer rumours

Philippe Coutinho will not move to Barcelona come January, according to today's transfer rumours.

The Liverpool star was courted by the Spanish club during the summer but his club reportedly rejected a series of bids to keep him at Anfield. Now Spanish outlet Sport have reported that Barca will turn their attentions instead to Nice midfielder JEAN MICHAEL SERI in the new year.

The Catalan side are even said to have agreed a £36M fee for Seri. But that doesn't mean Liverpool fans can totally rest in Coutinho's presence, as Barca's move for the Brazilian is merel;y to be postponed until next summer.

Liverpool are thought to be chasing RB Leipzig forward TIMO WERNER along with Real Madrid, although the Metro report that Werner has no buy-out clause. Should Liverpool be able to agree a deal with Leipzig, however, it seems the player could be open to a move.

According to Sport Witness, he heaped praise on the Reds when discussing Naby Keita's transfer.

"There's no anger to him," said Werner. "Liverpool is a big club with a great stadium and super fans, plus it's a huge transfer."

And Werner has also hinted that he wants to be at a club challenging for a league title. He even dropped some names, including Liverpool, when talking to Sportbild: "In Spain there are a maximum of three clubs with [Barcelona], [Real Madrid] and Atletico Madrid. In England there's more: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham [Hotspur], Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City."

Meanwhile, AWOL Chelsea striker DIEGO COSTA hopes his return to Atletico Madrid will be finalised by the end of the week, according to the Daily Mail. The two clubs have been thrashing out a £53million agreement thought to include a revised proposal of £40million, £9 million in add-ons and a £4million bonus for the 28-year-old's early release.

ROY HODGSON turned down two megabucks deals from the Chinese Super League because he wanted a chance to prove himself again on home turf, the Daily Mirror reports. The former England manager, 70, now has the opportunity to put humiliation at Euro 2016 behind him - should he dig boyhood club Crystal Palace out of trouble.

Injury-afflicted Manchester City captain VINCENT KOMPANY is the master of his own destiny at the club, boss Pep Guardiola has said. The manager expects Kompany to return to the Etihad Stadium once over a calf injury, but his long-term future is in his hands. "Vincent before I came was two years injured. After we discovered what he had he made a good rehabilitation. He has a contract, it depends on him", Guardiola said in comments reported by Sky Sports News.

Arsenal may have to say goodbye to MESUT OZIL when his contract expires next summer, The Sun reports. No talks over a new deal have taken place since negotiations collapsed in February amid questions over manager Arsene Wenger's future. Bought from Real Madrid for £42million in 2013, the newspaper understands the Gunners have offered the 28-year-old £8.1million-a-year to stay.

Sporting Lisbon midfielder WILLIAM CARVALHO still fancies a move to West Ham despite relations between the two clubs being in the doldrums, according to the Daily Mirror. The Irons' record bid for the 25-year-old collapsed after the Portugal side rejected their £36 million offer.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUNDUP

@Talksport: Everton linked with move for Croatian youngster Lovro Majer

@BBCSport: Julian Nagelsmann to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern Munich at the end of the season? "A done deal".

PLAYERS TO WATCH

JACK BUTLAND - Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has told England manager Gareth Southgate the 24-year-old should be goalkeeper for the national team, according to the Daily Mirror.

RUBEN NEVES - The 20-year-old midfielder helped lift Wolves into the promotion zone with a stunner against Hull, FourFourTwo reports.

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