By Mark Brus | Metro |
Liverpool could face an even bigger fight to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona reportedly prepare to launch a fresh bid of around £107million for the playmaker.
The Brazil international has emerged as one of the Catalan giants’ top priority targets this summer as Neymar closes in on a world-record £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain.
A devastating blow for Barca, they now hope to appease their fans by spending big themselves, and believe they could get a deal for Coutinho done by next week.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms on a move to the Nou Camp, so Barcelona just need to agree a fee with Liverpool to speed things along.
This could be tricky, however, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp repeatedly insisting that his star midfielder is absolutely not on the market this summer.
Speaking after his side’s friendly win over Bayern Munich, the German said: ‘I can understand that Coutinho is so highly rated, but they (Barcelona) can save their energy. There is no other way to interpret it – he is not available to be sold.’
Still, Barca look set to try their luck again with a new bid for Coutinho, having had a first one rejected, with the club hoping an improved offer of £107m could do the trick, according to the Daily Mail.
It has previously been claimed that Liverpool would ask for as much as £133m for Coutinho, who only signed a new long-term contract at Anfield earlier this year.
The former Inter Milan man has been a big hit in his four years at Liverpool, scoring 42 goals in 182 appearances for the Merseyside giants.