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Philippe Coutinho to apply for Portuguese nationality

Brazil's Philippe Coutinho to apply for Portugese passport

Bengaluru, February 15: Newly-signed Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho is planning to apply for Portuguese citizenship to help Barcelona land Manchester United and Chelsea target Arthur.

The Brazilian international is one of three non-EU players on the Catalan club's books - meaning they have no space in their squad for his countryman Arthur who has been scouted by the Catalan giants for a long time now.

And Coutinho is eager to help his club land their long-term target by switching to Portuguese nationality which he is eligible for.

The 25-year-old has confirmed he can switch his nationality to Portugal, which is his wife Aine's home nation, after three years of marriage in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

The former Liverpool star will still be able to play for Brazil at the World Cup, however.

Barcelona also have Paulinho and Yerry Mina on their books and are reportedly close to sealing a deal for Gremio star Arthur, 21.

Coutinho has been welcomed fondly by the Barcelona fans following his big-money move from Liverpool and now if he does this to help the club sign Arthur, he is surely going to be a fan favourite at Camp Nou.

It has been claimed Coutinho is set to return to Liverpool with the Brazilian national team before the summer.

Brazil are planning a World Cup warm-up game against Croatia, with Anfield as the host of the high-profile friendly.

The Liverpool Echo is reporting that the club are in "advanced talks with the respective football associations" about hosting the game.

Liverpool fans will surely be eagerly waiting to see Coutinho gracing Anfield once again although a warm welcome is hardly expected from the Kops.

Roberto Firmino, Liverpool's star forward and fan favourite will feature against his teammate Dejan Lovren which will be another thing to watch out for the fans.

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    Story first published: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 14:35 [IST]
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