Speculation over potential interest in Divock Origi from Barcelona has developed this week, but the rumours are not quite as they have been reported by various outlets.
Origi has re-emerged as a first-team option for Jurgen Klopp again this season, making four appearances so far with a return of one goal and two assists.
The Belgian barely featured last time out, clocking just 536 minutes on the pitch across 17 outings, with his output in 2021/22 already matching that produced in the previous campaign.
While there are still concerns among supporters about the quality in reserve within Liverpool’s attacking ranks, Klopp appears content with Origi as an alternative.
However, this week has brought wild suggestions that the 26-year-old could be a transfer target for Barcelona in the January transfer window.
Spanish publication Sport speculated that Origi could be among the candidates as Barca seek to bolster their forward line this winter, along with Edinson Cavani, Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti.
This has been picked up by a variety of outlets including the Liverpool Echo, who wrongly relayed that Origi “is one of several striking options being looked at by the Catalan giants.”
Meanwhile, fan site Empire of the Kop‘s headline reads ‘Liverpool fans will be surprised to know which Reds forward Barcelona are reportedly considering moving for’.
The prospect of Origi joining is, of course, not as farfetched as it once would have been, given the plight of the Spanish club.
Under Ronald Koeman, they currently sit ninth in LaLiga, and bottom of their Champions League group after 3-0 defeats to both Bayern Munich and Benfica.
Memphis Depay is their primary centre-forward, and with Sergio Aguero injured, Koeman has Luuk de Jong and Martin Braithwaite as alternatives, with only 11 goals scored squad-wide so far this term.
But rumours linking Origi to the Nou Camp are baseless, with Sport‘s report simply noting that he could be considered due to his contract supposedly expiring in 2022.
So, firstly, there is no claim of genuine interest in Liverpool’s No. 27, and secondly, the assertion that he would be available for “small compensation” is false as he still has another three years on his deal.
Origi signed a new five-year contract with the Reds on the back of the Champions League final success in 2019, which ties him to Anfield until 2024, not next summer as suggested.
This is not to disparage the report from Sport, with Origi long having been listed as in the final year of his deal by the usually reliable Transfermarkt, but instead the way in which it has been repurposed by English sources.
All it requires is minor research, or actually reading the few relevant lines in Sport, to discover that Origi is, in fact, not a target for Barcelona.