Barcelona midfielder Paulinho says he has been in touch with Brazil teammate Philippe Coutinho to discuss a possible transfer to the Spanish giants.
Liverpool forward Coutinho handed in a transfer request in August after La Liga leaders Barcelona had a bid for the Brazilian rejected, but the Reds turned down a further two offers, with owners Fenway Sports Group and manager Jurgen Klopp publicly stating he was not for sale.
The 25-year-old missed the start of the season with a back problem, but has been outstanding since his return and his stunning opener in the 5-0 Boxing Day demolition of Swansea was his seventh goal in as many games.
However, speculation regarding a January switch to the Nou Camp for Coutinho has continued, and Paulinho — who joined the club from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in August — joked that a property search for Coutinho was already under way.
“I make jokes that people are already looking for a house for him,” Paulinho said.
“I try to give him the basic information, the most important for him and his family, because maybe the time he lived here was not enough to know the city, but he knows that Barcelona is a very good city, that offers everything for him and his family.
“You have to think about the decision you are going to make. What I think is that if you have the opportunity to come, you will not regret it.”
Should any deal go through, Paulinho believes Coutinho would be a good addition to Barcelona’s already impressive attacking options.
“He has a way of playing that everyone observes, both in Liverpool and in Brazil,” he added.
“He is a very fast player, very agile. He gives many options for those who play in the centre of the field, pass options, also looks for free spaces to place the ball and go to goal.
“He can play in two or three positions and I think that will also help the coach and the players. Now I just have to encourage it to happen.”
Liverpool announced on Wednesday that the club had agreed to a deal to acquire Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk when the winter transfer window opens on Jan. 1.