Despite a transfer request, as many as four official bids and a supposed refusal to play, Philippe Coutinho will remain at Liverpool until January at the latest.
Barcelona identified the Brazilian as one of their primary targets in the wake of Neymar’s shock move to Paris Saint-Germain early last month and seemed utterly determined to get their man before the Spanish transfer window closed last night.
However, the Reds stood firm and rebuffed every one of the Catalonian club’s advances.
The final bid, instantly rejected by Liverpool, reportedly totaled more than £135 million. According to Barca Sporting Director Albert Soler, that was still a long way off the English club’s evaluation. He told the media on Saturday that La Blaugrana were informed that the 25-year-old would only be available if a fee of €200 (£183) million was offered.
As quoted by ESPN, Soler said:
“On Friday, after weeks of offers and talks, Liverpool put a price on the player that we wanted.
“A price of €200m and we decided we wouldn’t do it. That’s an example of the way football is now. This club and this board will not get involved in that, though.”
A price that high would have seen Coutinho become the world’s second most expensive player, behind only Neymar.
Having represented his country last night, Coutinho will return to his club next week and presumably re-enter the first team fold having not played a competitive minute so far this season. With the fine start to the season Mohammed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have enjoyed, the playmaker could yet struggle to cement a place in Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice eleven.
Check out the latest episode of The Mixer, as we look ahead to a crucial four days for the Repubkic of Ireland in their World Cup campaign.