Ernesto Valverde has reportedly taken the decision to end Barcelona’s pursuit to land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the summer.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Liverpool have been handed a major boost in their hopes of retaining the services of Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window, as Barcelona have cooled off their interest in the Brazilian midfielder.
From a promising youngster to one of the deadliest attackers in the Premier League, Philippe Coutinho has had quite the journey at Liverpool. An integral component in Jurgen Klopp’s squad, the Brazilian has progressed impressively over the last two seasons.
2016/17, in particular, was his most fruitful season at Anfield as he led Liverpool’s charge for a Top 4 finish in the Premier League with elan, bagging 13 goals and 7 assists in 31 games. Having established himself as an indispensable figure for both club and country, he has become a highly sought-after player in the transfer market as well.
Some of the biggest clubs in Europe are believed to be interested in securing Coutinho’s services, with Barcelona reportedly being the front-runners to sign the player in the summer transfer window.
The Catalan club are keen on making reinforcements in midfield in order to mount a more sustainable challenge for La Liga as well as the Champions League next season, after the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes failed to perform consistently this term.
Meanwhile, Rafinha is heavily being linked with a summer exit from Camp Nou. And with club captain, Andres Iniesta fast approaching the end of his glittering Barcelona career, the Blaugranas are also seeking a long-term successor for the Spain veteran.
They are, thus, believed to be eyeing several players for the same, with Coutinho reported to be their top target. The player’s compatriot, Neymar is also keen to link up with him next season, as he believes that the 24-year-old can add a lot of value to the Barcelona squad.
However, if the latest reports are anything to go by, the Brazilian is set to remain at Liverpool this summer, as newly-appointed manager Ernesto Valverde does not see the player fit in his plans for next season, as he is targeting a more defensively minded midfielder to play behind the MSN trio.
Therefore, this is likely to be the end of Barcelona’s pursuit of Coutinho, thereby handing Liverpool a major boost in their bid to keep hold of him. With the Reds set to return to the Champions League next season, the Brazilian will again play an instrumental role for them, and the news should come as music to Jurgen Klopp’s ears.