Although it looked like Barcelona had got their way last weekend in their attempt to sign Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, reports from England this morning indicate that is not the case. According to the BBC, Liverpool have rejected the latest Barcelona Coutinho bid of £90 million.
While Spanish media have smugly proclaimed it is just a matter of time until Coutinho arrives at Barcelona, it appears Liverpool are keeping the Brazilian. Reports of a Barcelona contingent flying to London to negotiate with Liverpool have been widespread, but some in the media have dismissed claims that have originated in the Spanish media. Some Liverpool bloggers have stated the Catalan club “fed” rumours of an agreed deal to the local media, fuelling speculation that the player was on his way to the Camp Nou.
According to the BBC, Barcelona has made a Coutinho bid of £76.8m plus an add-on of £13.5m. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been against the sale of Coutinho as the playmaker is paramount to the Reds’ season ahead. Klopp was reportedly very angry at the broken promises made by Liverpool’s directors as the club agreed to sell the Brazilian.
Although Coutinho signed a new Liverpool contract earlier this year, the Reds did not include a release clause in it. The lack of a release clause could hurt the team in their ability to hang on to the attacking midfielder.
Liverpool blog, Empire of the Kop, called Barcelona’s bid to sign Coutinho embarrassing. The website went on to say that Coutinho has not once mentioned his desire to leave for Barcelona, but that didn’t stop Liverpool’s under-18 coach Steven Gerrard from weighing in on the topic on BT Sport.
“It’s very, very difficult,” Gerrard said. “Especially South American players who always go on record saying it’s a dream of theirs to play for Barcelona.
“I’ve experienced it before as a player and a fan with [Javier] Mascherano, with [Luis] Suarez and it’s a very, very difficult situation for a club to be in.
“The good thing from the Liverpool fans’ point of view is the manager [Jürgen Klopp] is desperate to keep hold of him and is trying to keep hold of him.
“The board want him to stay, this is not a situation where Liverpool need money or to cash in.
“We’re not a selling club so they’re going to do everything in their power for him to stay but at the end of the day it comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision, what he’s prepared to do, what type of war he’s prepared to create to get out because Liverpool won’t make it easy for him.”
Now that Liverpool have rejected another Coutinho bid, it looks likely that this saga will continue until the end of the month.