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Rivaldo backs Coutinho to join Neymar at Barcelona

SoccerNews in La Liga 19 Jan 2017

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Former Barcelona star Rivaldo has backed Philippe Coutinho to join the Spanish champions from Liverpool.

Coutinho has blossomed into one of the Premier League’s finest talents since joining from Inter for a reported £8.5milllion in January 2013.

The 24-year-old has often been linked with a move to Camp Nou, despite him being contracted to Liverpool until 2020 and a public insistence from manager Jurgen Klopp that he will not be sold.

But Rivaldo, twice a LaLiga winner with Barca, believes signing Coutinho to link up with fellow Brazil forward Neymar would be a shrewd move.

“In my opinion, he’s a great player and a player who knows Neymar well,” he told Sky Sports. “I think they are both friends – players who stand out.

“I think that this transfer might happen because Barcelona is always going to attract the best, isn’t it?

“He is one of the players who stands out and I believe that this transfer – if he goes to Barcelona – would be a good thing for Barcelona for sure.

“He is a player who would definitely help Barcelona. Of course, Barcelona is a big club, but with a player like him, it would definitely be a big help.”

Rivaldo went on to admit that he could easily have been lured to the Chinese Super League as a player given the financial benefits on offer.

Carlos Tevez arrived in China this week after agreeing to join Shanghai Shenhua on a contract reportedly worth £615,000 a week, while Rivaldo’s compatriot Oscar is said to earn close to £400,000 a week at Shanghai SIPG.

Oscar’s former Chelsea team-mate Diego Costa has also been heavily linked with a lucrative CSL switch following a rumoured row with manager Antonio Conte.

“Players in that situation think about their future don’t they? About their children and about their family,” said Rivaldo.

“It’s a unique opportunity for a player. Of course, he [Costa] is already in a big club, but this is a unique opportunity and players will always think about the personal side of things.

“Just as the club, you know, the club will have to sell… when they are offered that much money, a club will certainly sell a player.

“So, it’s the same for the player. And I sincerely think that I would calmly go to China.”

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