La Liga expert Guillem Balague delivered bad news for Liverpool fans, as he claimed that Paris Saint-Germain are increasingly likely to sign Barcelona superstar Neymar in the coming days. The Brazilian has emerged as the principle transfer target for the French club, who are ready to do away with negotiations by activating the player’s £195million release clause. Neymar is not a Liverpool player, but this transfer is expected to kickstart a chain of events that might lead to Philippe Coutinho moving to the Camp Nou.
FCB expect PSG to pay Neymar’s buyout clause this week. Coutinho WAS not a target as he’s similar. But now a new offer to LFC is on its way pic.twitter.com/If3DhpY2H1
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 21, 2017
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has categorically stated that the player is not for sale, but it is believed that Coutinho is very keen on pairing up with Lionel Messi and former Red Luis Suarez. The first offer from Barcelona, reported to be in the region of £72million (Telegraph), was rejected by the Reds straightaway, but the Catalan club are not ready to give up. The club may come in with a £80million offer if they are certain that Neymar would leave the La Liga giants (Mirror).
Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho seems natural, as he is a left-sided player who can be a like-for-like replacement for Neymar. Coutinho was not a target for Barcelona, but the sudden increase in Neymar transfer rumours is making a significant difference to the situation. Coutinho was not a transfer target for precisely the same reasons why he has become one now – too similar to Neymar.
Klopp continues to maintain that the player will not be sold, but Liverpool are increasingly concerned that the star’s head may be turned. Most Brazilians dream of playing for Barcelona, who have had great players like Ronaldinho and Romario in the past. Coutinho signed a new deal earlier this year to become the club’s highest paid player, but the 25-year-old stands to earn much more by making a switch to the Camp Nou. At present, he is the top earner at Anfield, earning £150,000 per week.