English Premiership

Iniesta approves of Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho (Twitter)
Philippe Coutinho (Twitter)

Cape Town - Barcelona veteran Andres Iniesta hopes to see Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina join the club in January.

Coutinho’s move to Spain was the subject of a drawn-out transfer saga in the off-season, and Barca are expected to pursue his signature again while making good on their long-standing interest in the Colombian centre-back.

"I believe they would both be important reinforcements for our squad," Iniesta said in an interview with El Mundo Deportivo.

"The club is working on transfer targets and analysing areas of our squad which need strengthening and they have the levels required to withstand the pressure at a club like this.

"They would be two big signings for us, but at the moment they are both at different clubs and nothing has happened, so we cannot talk.

"You need to not only have the sufficient quality and ability to play here but also to have a strong enough character - it is important to think of this before making signings."

Meanwhile, Coutinho has refused to commit his future to the Premier League club, saying he does not know whether he will be the subject of a transfer bid in January.

"I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters," said Coutinho, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances this season.

"I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

"Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire."