Some of the latest reports from Spain suggest Barcelona have given up hope of signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the summer transfer window.
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Spanish outlet Marca claims that Barca offered an ultimatum when it came to their latest bid of $145 million (reports claim it was rejected) for Coutinho and have yet to hear back from Liverpool.
Per the report Barca have turned their attentions to Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri who can slot in alongside new signing Paulinho in central midfield and is more likely to cost around $35 million.
With Coutinho, 25, handing in a transfer request he has yet to appear for Liverpool this season in the Premier League or UEFA Champions League. The Brazilian playmaker is said to be suffering from a back injury and is therefore unavailable for selection, but given the fact he’s still at Anfield 10 days before the window, a change in his situation seems imminent.
Of course, a lot can happen in 10 days and this could purely be a pressure tactic from Barcelona to force through the move.
Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), issued a statement on the eve of the new Premier League season saying he would not be sold in this window and Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly said the same.
However, with Coutinho wanting out, this is a tricky situation for Liverpool, like many other PL clubs, to handle.
Look around the PL at Virgil Van Dijk, Alexis Sanchez, Ross Barkley and the summer-long saga involving Gylfi Sigurdsson. Most clubs know they will earn plenty of cash for selling their star players but most are digging their heels in and would rather keep an unhappy player around than sell.
It seems like Liverpool fall into this category when it comes to Coutinho. Does Klopp keep an unhappy player around and turn down a hugely inflated fee due to Barcelona selling Neymar for $262 million? Or does he cash in and bring in two to three new stars?
Whatever happens it appears the end-game is approaching fast and with 10 days to go until the window closes, Liverpool will not want to lose Coutinho right at the end of the window with no time to bring in replacements.