Costa Rica
Match 25
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Match 24
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LIVE 72'
Match 26
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12:00 PM UTC Jun 23, 2018
Match 29
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South Korea
6:00 PM UTC Jun 23, 2018
Match 28
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3:00 PM UTC Jun 23, 2018
Match 27
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Transfer Rater: Luka Modric to Tottenham

Football Whispers

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho 'ideal player for Barcelona' - Brazil boss Tite

Brazil coach Tite says Barcelona should make a move for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, amid reports in Spain that they want to pair the Liverpool man with compatriot Neymar at Camp Nou.

Coutinho, 24, has flourished with Brazil since the appointment of Tite, who has guided the Selecao to eight wins from eight matches and already secured qualification to next summer's World Cup in his brief spell in charge.

There has been non-stop speculation linking Coutinho with a move to Barca this summer and Tite understands why the Blaugrana would be interested.

"Yes, absolutely yes," he told Diario Sport when asked if he could see the logic in Barcelona wanting to bring him in.

"I don't want to be pretentious and give an opinion on Barcelona, but who wouldn't want a player like Coutinho? That magic, that capacity to invent and create something, that change of rhythm, the way he builds play -- it's crucial for any side."

Philippe Coutinho scored 13 goals and assisted seven for Liverpool in the Premier League last season.

Barca's attack currently comprises Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez so it's not immediately clear where Coutinho would fit in from the off, but Tite envisages him fulfilling a deeper role.

"Just to be clear, I'm talking hypothetically," he stressed so as not to be disrespectful to Liverpool.

"There's Sergio [Busquets] and two creative midfielders, [Ivan] Rakitic and [Andres] Iniesta, who are the thinkers of the team. Coutinho could play that role. He is the ideal player for Barca."

Speaking to ESPN Brasil earlier this month, Coutinho reiterated his focus remains with Liverpool, who secured Champions League qualification last weekend, but did not close the door on Barca.

"Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world. So far, nothing has come to me, because if anything comes, it comes to my manager, what I have to do is focus on the pitch," Coutinho said.

"A lot of people ask me about that, but I have a contract with Liverpool, I've just signed a long-term contract, so the speculation stays with you, journalists."

Meanwhile, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has said the club have no plans to sell Coutinho and are not in a position where they could have their hand forced financially.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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