Barcelona make new €125m bid for Liverpool star Coutinho
Barcelona have submitted a new bid of €125million (£114.2m) for midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but Liverpool have instantly rejected the latest advance from the La Liga giants and stood firm with their stance of not selling.
The Catalan side are desperate to land the Brazilian after selling Neymar to PSG for a world record fee and could be willing to go as high as €130m (£118.7m) to bring Coutinho to the Nou Camp.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is adamant his star man is not for sale at any price, despite the 25-year-old formally submitting a transfer request last week.
Barcelona unveiled £36.5m signing Paulinho on Thursday, but they will not give up on Coutinho, who is keen to play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in Spain.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will again be without Coutinho for the visit of Crystal Palace
Liverpool have already rejected two bids for the former Inter Milan playmaker – worth £72m and £90m – and insist that he will remain at Anfield beyond this summer.
Coutinho is yet to play for Liverpool this season after suffering a back injury in training. He will also be absent for Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace.
Asked about Coutinho’s transfer request after Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Watford, Klopp admitted the situation was now out of his hands.
‘I can say something that is maybe more important,’ Klopp said.
But Liverpool are sticking by their stance and have immediately knocked back the fresh offer
‘As a manager of a football club I have bosses. And if the bosses decide, for example, just in general, if sell a player or we don’t sell him, then I have to accept it.
‘If they don’t sell him, then I’m not involved anymore. I am responsible for all of players, not just one, two or three. I cannot say anything about it. I work with the players I have, that is what I’m always doing.
‘So how does it change something for me? I didn’t make the decision.’
Coutinho does not want to play for Liverpool again after submitting a transfer request by email on the eve of the new Premier League season.
A close family member was quoted as saying: ‘Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this situation but to no avail. He has tremendous love for the club and its fans.
‘But like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms.’
The family member also explained that his relationship with Klopp has fractured, insisting that he ‘does not have the trust of his manager’.
‘There are things that have happened, there is not the same bond,’ the family member added. ‘It is regretful, but that is the case. There is no going back.’
Barca remain determined to strengthen Ernesto Valverde’s squad following the £198m sale of Neymar and an embarrassing 5-1 aggregate defeat by rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.
They also want to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, although officials at the Bundesliga club have denied that a deal has been agreed.
Reports in Spain on Wednesday had suggested that Barca had thrashed out a move worth an initial £90m, with a further £27.3m in add-ons.