Mundo Deportivo have once again dragged Real Madrid into the Philippe Coutinho circus. The Catalan media always need a list of rivals for Barcelona to beat to a transfer, real or not, and Madrid are often a likely culprit.

Not for the first time it’s stated Real Madrid and Liverpool have been in contact, with the Spanish club wanting to know the conditions to sign Coutinho. There’s said to be worry at Madrid about Luka Modric and Toni Kroos and therefore Coutinho is being eyed up. Madrid are also said to be aware they need to replace the goals and assists of James Rodriguez.

Given the Catalan media have spent years mocking James’ contribution to Real Madrid it seems strange they’re now talking it up, but the situation of needing the competition to help this rumour means everything previous is forgotten.

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Anyway, shock-horror, Mundo Deportivo state Coutinho prefers Barcelona for his next destination after Liverpool, so Real Madrid, along with PSG, will lose out.

It all feels fabricated, but if Coutinho is to leave Liverpool then surely the club’s fans would find it hilarious if Barcelona, who have been irritating the club for months, ended up losing out to their fiercest rivals.

The Catalan newspaper also conveniently forget to mention the existence of Isco, who is surely more in the Coutinho mould than Modric or Kroos.