News ID: 198072
Published: 0119 GMT August 06, 2017

Barca confident over Coutinho deal, Reds resist

Barca confident over Coutinho deal, Reds resist

Barcelona is stepping up its attempts to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, although the Premier League club maintains the Reds have no intention of selling the Brazilian.

Coutinho committed his long-term future to Liverpool earlier this year by signing a new five-year contract, but the world-record £200 million transfer of his compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain has revived talk of the Brazilian swapping Anfield for the Nou Camp, The Independent reported.

As The Independent revealed last month, Coutinho’s camp feels there is a “70 percent” chance of the move going ahead, and Barcelona’s president has refused to rule out bidding for the 25-year-old.

And this weekend, reports in Spain claimed that representatives from Barcelona have traveled to England three times to meet with Coutinho’s representatives, with the daily newspaper AS increasingly confident a deal will go ahead.

Meanwhile, The Mirror reported that Coutinho has personally told Barcelona he is ready to move.

However, it is understood that Liverpool is still hopeful Coutinho will remain at the club, with manager Jurgen Klopp under absolutely no obligation to sell.

And only this week, the club’s former director of football Damien Comolli stressed that he believes the club can hang onto their prize asset.

“It would be extremely difficult, almost impossible, to replace Coutinho with a like-for-like player in terms of skills and knowledge of the Premier League,” Comolli admitted on talkSPORT.

“I don’t think Liverpool can afford to sell him...but if they actually want to keep the player, I think they can say ‘no’.

“The [financial] landscape has changed massively over the last 12 or 24 months in world football.

“In the deal we had with Suarez, he told me one thing: ‘If Real Madrid or Barcelona come for me, would you let me go?’

“However, because the Premier League has so much financial ability to resist any bid, I think if Liverpool want to say no, they say no.

“That’s exactly what PSG did with Barcelona and [Marco] Verratti. Barcelona had agreed a deal with Verratti, but they came to PSG and they said, ‘absolutely no chance, the player is staying’.

“Liverpool don’t need the money – no club in the Premier league needs the money because they’re so much coming in from the TV rights.”

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