Barcelona will have to step up their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho further after reportedly having a £118 million bid turned down by Liverpool.
According to a report in The Sun, Liverpool have rejected Barcelona’s third bid for Philippe Coutinho. The Blaugrana had put an offer worth £118 million on the table for the Brazilian playmaker. But it was immediately turned down by the Reds, who intend to keep him at Anfield beyond the summer.
Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013, and his career has experienced an upward trajectory ever since. His progress in the last couple of seasons has been highly impressive, with the player taking on the mantle of being the leader in attack for the Reds, establishing himself as one of the best players in the Premier League.
2016/17 was the most fruitful season for Coutinho, making 31 appearances for Liverpool with 13 assists and 7 assists to show for his efforts. But, after becoming a highly instrumental figure for the Merseyside club, the Brazil international is looking to call time on his spell at Anfield.
Barcelona have been in hot pursuit of the player for the entire summer as they strive to land a top playmaker this summer. To make matters worse, Coutinho handed an ill-timed transfer request to Liverpool, just two days before the start of the club’s first Premier League outing of the season.
Barca are willing to pay 120m for Coutinho. There’s a reason for that. pic.twitter.com/szEGQko9gq
— Zeus (@KeylorinhoZZ) August 18, 2017
The Blaugrana have struggled to fill the void left by the departure of Xavi in 2015, and things are threatening to spiral out of control with Andres Iniesta fast approaching the end of his glittering career.
Ivan Rakitic has experienced a significant dip in form while Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes are struggling to adapt to the challenges at Camp Nou, meaning Barcelona do not have any midfielder to assert control from the centre of the park.
Furthermore, Neymar’s move to PSG has left Ernesto Valverde severely short of quality options in attack as well. While the Catalan giants are also pursuing a move for Ousmane Dembele, Coutinho could become a short-term solution up front should they fail to land the Frenchman.
However, their chances of landing the 25-year-old hang in the balance after Liverpool rejected their third bid worth £118 million – £82 million plus £36 million in add-ons. The Reds have already made their stance clear on Coutinho, insisting that they intend to keep hold of the player.
With less than two weeks left before the transfer window slams shut, the Merseyside club would be fancying their chances of retaining Coutinho, even though the player has made his desires clear. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona table an improved offer for the Brazilian, and if they’re able to sign him this summer.