Liverpool reject third Barcelona bid of €125m for Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool have rejected a massive €125m from Liverpool for midfielder Philippe Coutinho, with the Anfield club holding firm in their determination to hang on to their star man.
Barcelona’s third offer for Coutinho is believed to have been lodged on Friday morning, with an offer that would have made Coutinho the second most expensive player of all-time testing Liverpool’s resolve once more.
Yet this Barca latest offer is believed to have been heavily laced with contract clauses that would have meant the Anfield club would only have received an up front payment of around €90m, with the additional payments only activated if the player and Barcelona achieved certain targets.
That kind of offer was unlikely to tempt Liverpool to sell, with the already reluctant sellers needing a huge up front cash payment if they are to make moves to replace their No.10 in the final few days of the transfer window.
Coutinho’s move to hand in a transfer request last week, after Liverpool rejected Barcelona’s second offer, was believed to add up to around €100m and upped the stakes in a battle that is set to run for a few days yet as the transfer window edges towards a close.
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group released a statement last Friday stating they would not consider selling Coutinho for any price, but it seems that stance has not ended Barcelona’s interest in a player who is one of their top transfer targets following the €222m sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez confirmed on Thursday that the club are still confident of landing Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele, despite the reluctance of both clubs to sell their star men.
“We are negotiating and that is the truth. With all respect to both clubs, logically in a negotiation you need time to reach agreements for them and for us,” stated Fernandez.
“We still have days ahead and we would like to go forward with this. It is true and I recognise this, that they are two players we feel like bringing here.”
It can only be assumed that Barcelona have been given some encouragement that deal to sign Coutinho may be possible if the price is right, as the Catalan giants could have walked away from negotiations if they had told the player will not leave under any circumstances in this transfer window.
Now Liverpool and Coutinho will wait to see how Barcelona react to this latest snub, with all sides in this high-stakes transfer battle still talking over a transfer that will continue to capture the headlines for a few days yet.