The protracted transfer sage that is Philippe Coutinho joining Barcelona took another twist, as sportswear giants Nike posted a photo on their official site with the option of adding the Brazilian on the back of their shirt.
The Catalan side have been continually linked with the diminutive Brazilian since the summer, although Coutinho remained at Anfield with question marks remaining over how long he will stay a Liverpool player.
Coutinho has been in stellar form this season despite the persistent rumours, scoring 12 goals and providing a further eight assists in the Premier League and Champions League this campaign.
Should the Reds decide to cash in on the attacking midfielder, whether it be January or the summer, then fans of Liverpool have taken to Twitter to suggest a replacement should Coutinho leave.
Really hope we don't lose Coutinho in Jan but have a feeling we will. Though I think it will be a big mistake on his behalf as something special is happening at #LFC. If he does go then we have to get Mahrez in, such a class player & PL proven. What will be will be. #YNWA— Anfield Dugout Tickets (@DugoutTickets) January 1, 2018
Liverpool should consider a move for Mahrez when Coutinho moves on.— Dave Niblock (@DaveNiblock) January 1, 2018
If Coutinho gone on strike again then sell him now buy Mahrez/Fekir/Lemar along with a top class CDM and goalkeeper— Karl. (@Moreno_Stuff) January 2, 2018
If the rumours are true and Coutinho doesn’t want to play for us again, £130m and Ter Stegen, then spend the money on either Lemar or Mahrez— Stephen Harris (@StephenHarris93) January 2, 2018
Also if we were for reason to sell Coutinho this month then I would instantly try and get Mahrez in— luke (@luke_n87) January 2, 2018
If the Coutinho reports are true (which I doubt they are anyway until someone reputable comes out and says it) Lemar and/or Mahrez have to be priority.. even then one player (Lemar) won’t replace the quality Coutinho will leave— Luke McAvoy (@Luke_McAvoy) January 2, 2018
Riyad Mahrez was another player who appeared destined to leave Leicester in the summer with AS Roma believed to be his preferred destination.
Like Coutinho however, a move away from their respected Premier League side failed to materialise, and despite a slow start to the campaign, the Algerian is in a rich vein of form, scoring seven goals and providing seven assists in the league so far.
7 - Riyad Mahrez has scored seven goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season, one more than he netted in 36 games in 2016-17. Reboot. pic.twitter.com/Ocor50Z53d— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2018
With terrific dribbling ability and and eye for a pass or goal, it is easy to see why Liverpool fans would like to see Mahrez at Anfield should Coutinho leave.
Mahrez however will be focusing on Leicester for the time being, preparing for an FA Cup game away to Fleetwood Town on Saturday, while Coutinho and Liverpool have the small matter of a Merseyside derby in their 3rd round tie on Friday evening.