Liverpool’s two most in-form players—Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah— have been ruled out of their FA Cup Merseyside Derby clash with Everton on Friday by Red manager Jurgen Klopp.

Speaking to the media at a press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Everton, Klopp hinted that while he didn’t expect either to feature on Friday, he said Coutinho, in particular, was expected to return for a massive Premier League clash with leaders Manchester City on January 14.

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Mohamed Salah, who has arguably been the signing of the Premier League this season after scoring 17 goals since his arrival from Serie A side AS Roma, suffered a knock late in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday and hasn’t featured since.

However, Coutinho’s absence has alarmed Liverpool supporters for the wantaway star is said to be on the verge of a move to La Liga giants Barcelona. The South American missed their January 1 clash (coincidentally the first day of the winter transfer window) with Burnley.

Nike, Barcelona’s official kit partners, even released a promo on their official website welcoming the Brazilian to the club before hurriedly taking it down earlier this week.

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The Catalans have been eying the twinkle-toed midfielder for a while now and they were rebuffed several times by Liverpool in the summer transfer window, but are said to be coming back with an improved offer in the region of €150 million.

With the player reportedly injured and out of action, his absence is fanning the flames even more and it’s not inconceivable to say that the 25-year-old might have played his final match for the Reds.

Currently the Reds are competing for silverware on three fronts (Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League) but their hopes of a long-awaited league triumph are effectively over as leaders Manchester City hold a hefty 18-point lead over them.