sport news Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona move to force Iniesta out?

When Sportsmail first reported Barcelona had bid for Philippe Coutinho last July the name Andres Iniesta was very high up in the story. 

The Brazilian had been picked out to replace a legend and despite Iniesta signing a life-time deal at the Nou Camp, that remains the case. 

When Coutinho arrives, be it this month or in the summer, it will be to succeed one of Barcelona’s all-time greats.

Philippe Coutinho is pictured leaving Liverpool's training ground as he angles for a move away

Philippe Coutinho is pictured leaving Liverpool's training ground as he angles for a move away

The Brazilian is keep to complete a move to Barcelona after failing to do so in the summer

The Brazilian is keep to complete a move to Barcelona after failing to do so in the summer

His arrival at Barcelona could signal the end for one of their most iconic players, Andres Iniesta

His arrival at Barcelona could signal the end for one of their most iconic players, Andres Iniesta

If Barcelona are willing to give Liverpool what they want – £133million guaranteed with no part of the fee conditional on games played or trophies won – then Coutinho will arrive in January. 

Being cup-tied for the Champions League, it will make it easy for Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde to ease him into the great man’s midfield position.

Iniesta will play in all the European games and in league matches immediately before or after the Champions League fixtures. Coutinho, meanwhile, will step into midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic or Paulinho.

Iniesta’s deal for life sounds like a contract that keeps him at the club indefinitely but in practice it was always more a compromise struck in October to silence talk about whether he was in his last season. 

Sport (Headline: 'Coutinho very, very, very close')

Mundo Deportivo (Headline: Coutinho can play in four positions)

Spanish newspapers Sport (Headline: 'Very, very, very close') and Mundo Deportivo (Headline: 'Coutinho can play in four positions') both believe a deal for Coutinho is close to completion 

Liverpool want a straight £133m from Barcelona, with no money reliant on games or goals

Liverpool want a straight £133m from Barcelona, with no money reliant on games or goals

It sets out a flexible agreement between player and club that allows the former to decide two or three weeks ahead of the end of every campaign if he wants to continue or not.

Iniesta has already gone on record as saying: ‘I don’t want to be here just as a passenger I want to be important. I don’t know how I will feel in May or June, I hope I keep feeling the way I feel now.’

Come the end of the season he may be ready to walk away. If he has won the Champions League, going out on a high could appeal. Although picking up what would be his fifth European Cup winners medal would probably make him feel more than ever that he still had something left to offer. 

What the Barcelona hierarchy feel very

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