Liverpool have reportedly set a staggering price tag of €150 million Philippe Coutinho in an attempt to scare off Barcelona and other suitors.
According to a report by Sport, Liverpool are desperate to retain their star player Philippe Coutinho this summer, and have slapped an astounding €150 million on the Barcelona target. In earlier months, Coutinho was valued at €80 million but now the figure seems to have almost doubled.
Coutinho’s career has been on an upward trajectoryever since he joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in the summer of 2013. The then 20-year-old went on to establish himself as the Merseyside club’s key member in midfield and his development over the last few years has been impressive, to say the least.
The Brazilian play-maker has also become a regular fixture for his country. The recently-concluded season was perhaps the best for Coutinho as he led Liverpool towards a top-four finish in the Premier League successfully. Additionally, he also contributed with 13 goals and seven assists in 31 games.
Considering how his form has skyrocketed in the last few months, it comes as no surprise that so many clubs are vying for his signature. Spanish giants Barcelona were believed to be the front-runners and have been eyeing Coutinho for a long time, but with the massively escalated price tag, it remains to be seen if they will continue to do so.
Ernesto Valverde is understood to be keen on getting midfield reinforcements this summer in order to create a squad that can provide pace going forward as well as stay strong in the back to ward off opposition attacks.
The fact that Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes failed to impress last season only adds to their need for a proven midfield talent. Ivan Rakitic was quite inconsistent as well, which led to Barcelona being unable to assert a strong sense of control in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta is also approaching the end of his glittering career, which has led to a significant amount of reduction in his pace. Thus, Barcelona also require a successor for Iniesta after failing to find a worthy replacement for Xavi.
The Spanish club were understood to have identified Coutinho as the answer to their midfield woes, but as things stand now, it remains to be seen if they are willing to shell out such a significant sum to secure his services.
Securing a deal for Coutinho will definitely benefit Barcelona, and it will be interesting to see how far they are willing to go in order to sign the Brazilian playmaker this summer, having already failed in their pursuit of Marco Verratti.