Following the sale of Pedro and the ensuing injury to Lionel Messi, last season’s Spanish and European champions look increasingly short on attacking options.
With the club expected to make moves in the January transfer window, the Sunday Times reported earlier this week that Liverpool’s Coutinho has been identified as a realistic target.
Answering questions on Sky Sports, Balague, however, has rubbished such claims and calmed supporters’ fears, responding: “They have not enquired about Coutinho.”
Could Philippe Coutinho become a Barcelona target?
Barcelona’s need for new attacking players is evident, with boss Luis Enrique having to call on youngsters Munir, Rafinha and Sandro to currently plug the gaps in the wake of Pedro's exit and Messi's knock.
Coutinho certainly has elite-level ability, and his well-documented close friendship with fellow Brazilian Neymar could prompt further cause to a possible Nou Camp switch.
However, Liverpool fans need not worry as the former Inter Milan ace doesn’t fit the description needed. Barcelona are short of direct, attacking wide men who predominantly play in a forward three.
Coutinho is more of the Andres Iniesta mould, a playmaker who sits a little deeper and in such a role, Barca have plenty of riches with summer signing Arda Turan yet to play for the club.
There may come a day when the Reds struggle to fend off Europe’s elite for their star player, but fortunately for Brendan Rodgers it doesn’t look like happening anytime soon.