Catalan giants Barcelona have refused to rule out another bid for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho this summer, after they had an initial bid worth around £72million flatly rejected last week.
Liverpool are adamant that Coutinho, who only signed a new five-year deal worth £150,000-a-week earlier this year with no release clause, will not be allowed to leave at any cost as he is so fundamental to Jurgen Klopp's plans, and have made it clear they are in no mood to negotiate.
Coutinho may be forced to give one more season to Liverpool
The Sunday Mirror's reported that Coutinho has asked to leave, and though that is, as yet, unconfirmed, it is likely that a similar deal would be struck to what Liverpool did with Luis Suarez, agreeing that the player must give the Reds another season before making the move.
It is understandable that Coutinho is enticed by the prospect of moving to La Liga, but Liverpool will supposedly stand firm for the time being.
Barcelona, though, want a midfielder this summer, and could soon have a huge transfer kitty available should the proposed move of Coutinho’s Brazilian international teammate Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain go through for a fee of around €222 million, around two and a half times the value of the world-record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
Barca president refuses to rule out future bid
Club president Josep Bartomeu continued Barcelona’s aggressive pursuit of the player by saying, “He's a Liverpool player and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool. What we do in the summer is to be very discreet about everything, so we can not confirm or deny anything”.
Bartomeu confirmed that “more players will be coming in” and that one of those would be “in the middle” of the pitch.
The likelihood of Barcelona offering a big enough fee for Liverpool to deem it worthwhile changing their stance this summer remains highly unlikely, especially considering how difficult the Anfield club have found it to secure their own targets despite huge bids being made.
Should Barcelona come back in with another bid, it is highly likely to be rejected again, however, the Spaniards will likely get their man at some point in the future, perhaps next summer.
With Coutinho not publicly agitating for a move, the chances of Barcelona convincing Liverpool to sell – at least for this summer – are extremely unlikely, although Bartomeu is yet to admit defeat.