It seems like the ‘Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona’ saga may have taken a new turn, as reports from Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo have claimed that Liverpool have finally informed Coutinho that he would be allowed to join Barcelona only if the La Liga club matches the asking price of €150m.
Barcelona’s interest in the Brazilian was made evident soon after Neymar secured his £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain. With Liverpool playing hardball, Barcelona decided to move for Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele for an initial fee of £97m plus add-ons. But thanks to Coutinho’s ability to play in deeper positions, Barcelona are looking at him as the heir for Andres Iniesta.
It all started with Barcelona offering £72m for Coutinho, but Liverpool stood firm and rejected their offer right away. Having enough money to burn from Neymar’s sale, Barcelona returned with a £89m offer, but to no avail whatsoever. Barcelona tried getting on Liverpool’s nerves and were handed a major boost after it was reported that Coutinho himself has handed in an official transfer request.
His entreaty, however, was firmly rejected by the board and the manager was then backed by the owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), who went on to issue a statement that “no offers will be considered” for the Brazil international.
There was still time for the transfer window to slam shut, and Barcelona wasted no time in increasing their offer to a whopping £118.7m. The Mirror gave a perfect breakdown of the offer and claimed Barcelona would only pay £80m for the 25-year-old and the rest would be potential add-ons. Liverpool, on their part, remained rigid and Barcelona went back empty-handed.
Seeing no other way to move to Barcelona, the Brazilian eventually stayed put and even though there remained some doubts over his loyalty, he returned to the squad and marked a perfect comeback. Two goals in three Premier League appearances and an impressive 13 goal-scoring chances created so far highlight his impact. All this, however, might take a gigantic U-turn this winter if Barcelona manage to match Liverpool’s asking price.