Philippe Coutinho will be offered a new contract at Liverpool, amid reports that Manchester City are interested in signing him
The Brazilian midfielder is currently recovering from a malleolar injury sustained against Sunderland was in fine form for the Reds until the unfortunate incident. Coutinho picked up 5 goals and 5 assists in 12 starts in the league for Liverpool, but has missed their last three league games and will likely only return in January.
According to a report in the Daily Star, Coutinho is being lined up as a replacement for David Silva, who turns 31 in January. Silva is contracted until 2019, but Guardiola has apparently already found a successor in the Brazilian midfielder.
He would not be the first key player City have poached from Liverpool, with Raheem Sterling joining the Citizens in a £44 million (with add-ons that could add up to £5 million) deal last summer.
The report claims that City realise it will be harder to prise Coutinho away, given he has said in the past that he is happy at Anfield. City realise it would take a world-record bid of £90m to sign the 24-year old playmaker – something that City are more than capable of paying.
Jurgen Klopp will of course refuse to sell Coutinho and is reportedly looking to tie down the midfielder to a new contract. Recognising the interest in him from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, Liverpool are apparently ready to offer Coutinho a new £150k-a-week contract. This will no doubt include a massive buy-out clause so that Liverpool can reap the maximum fee possible for him should the Brazilian decide to move on at some point.
Both Manchester City and PSG can outmatch Liverpool with ease when it comes to wages and should Liverpool continue to struggle to challenge for silverware beyond this season, it is possible Coutinho will seek a fresh challenge. The idea of working with Pep Guardiola is one that many players have based their transfers on, but Liverpool will be extremely reluctant to sell another one of their key players to a direct rival.
Coutinho – who still has significant time left on his contract which runs until 2020 – is hot property in Europe at the moment but has thrived under Jurgen Klopp, just like Liverpool have. Should Liverpool begin to challenge convincingly for major honours, there is no reason he would leave in the near future.