Liverpool yet to receive new bid from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool are yet to receive a new bid from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho, but reports in Spain claim a renewed offer for the midfielder is imminent.
Barcelona’s long-standing interest in the 25-year-old has been rekindled by the January transfer window and his continued desire to join the club.
Liverpool are now braced for another attempt to secure a deal this month.
Liverpool rejected three offers, and a transfer request from the Brazilian, before the start of this season.
The last of Barcelona’s three bids was £118m – which included add-ons totalling in excess of £30m based on Coutinho winning the Ballon d’Or, and other built-in clauses.
Barcelona will have to increase that last offer, without assorted clauses, to have any hope of resurrecting a deal.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are refusing to be drawn into any public debate about an issue that provided an unwelcome backdrop to manager Jurgen Klopp’s planning for this campaign when it became a saga during the last close season.
Liverpool will also know sanctioning a sale could impact on their pursuit of a place in the Premier League’s top four and the Champions League, where they face Porto in the last 16.
Coutinho could not play for Barcelona in the Champions League having already represented Liverpool, but this has not cooled the Catalans’ intention of doing a deal this month.
And in a bizarre twist, Coutinho’s name briefly appeared on a Nike advert for Barcelona shirts this week before being removed.
Significantly, however, there has been no repeat of the hardline public stance Liverpool adopted last summer when the club issued a statement insisting “no offers will be considered” for Coutinho and this was a “definitive stance”.
Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in January 2013, was also told he would not be leaving in that summer transfer window in a meeting with Mike Gordon, president of Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group.
Liverpool manager Klopp has also sidestepped attempts to get him to confirm Coutinho will be staying at Anfield, saying: “In my business it makes absolutely no sense to talk about things that could maybe happen because that creates stories that are 90% of the time not true.”