Barcelona have reportedly ended their interest in Philippe Coutinho after giving Liverpool a deadline to accept their latest offer.
According to a report by Sky Sports, Barcelona have ended their interest in signing Philippe Coutinho this summer. The Blaugrana had issued Liverpool a deadline till Sunday afternoon to accept their latest bid for the Brazilian playmaker. But, the Reds stood firm on their stance.
Coutinho has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last two seasons, establishing himself as Liverpool’s talisman and their main creative outlet. His exploits for the Reds have also made the player an indispensable part of the Brazilian national setup.
But, after enjoying the most productive campaign of his senior career in the 2016/17 season – Coutinho bagged 13 goals and 7 assists in 31 Premier League games – there has been intense speculation surrounding his future at Anfield.
The player has been the subject of a long-term interest from Barcelona, who have been pursuing a move for him in recent months. To make matters more concerning for Liverpool, the 25-year-old has also handed a transfer request, with a few reports claiming that he is refusing to play for the Merseyside club.
• 7pm deadline has passed.
• Barcelona withdraw their offer.
• Coutinho stays. pic.twitter.com/uoty2sfaK3
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) August 20, 2017
Last season served as a bitter reminder to Barcelona that they badly need some reinforcements to reclaim their place atop Spanish and European football. Midfield is a big concern for the Blaugrana, who have struggled to fill the huge void left by the departure of Xavi in 2015.
Andres Iniesta is no spring chicken anymore either as he is well into the twilight years of his career. With the veteran Spaniard no longer able to play week in week out, Barcelona are in desperate need of a playmaker who can enable them to assert control at the centre of the park.
With last summer’s arrivals Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes struggling to adapt to the challenges at Camp Nou, and Ivan Rakitic experiencing a significant dip in form, Ernesto Valverde has been eyeing Coutinho to be his solution in midfield.
But, Liverpool are firm on their stance on the player, insisting that he is not going anywhere this summer and have, thus, rejected all bids for him – the last one being worth an eye-watering £118 million. And Barcelona handed the Reds a deadline to accept their final offer for the Brazilian post which they would end their interest in him.
The aforementioned deadline was Sunday afternoon, which has passed, meaning it is looking increasingly likely that Philippe Coutinho will stay at Liverpool this season despite being eager to make his way to Camp Nou.
Therefore, it now looks like Jean Michael Seri will be the playmaker to arrive at Barcelona this summer, with the latest reports claiming that the La Liga heavyweights are confident of reaching an agreement with Nice to sign the Ivorian.