Barcelona to Offer Croatian Star to Liverpool as Part of Ambitious Philippe Coutinho Swoop
Barcelona are set to include Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic in their latest offer to Liverpool for Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho, in an ambitious attempt to prise the player away from Anfield.
The Liverpool Echo report that the reigning Copa del Rey champions are hopeful that the inclusion of Rakitic, in addition to a hefty cash sum, will be enough to persuade Klopp to part with his star man, although it seems very unlikely that a deal will materialise.
The Brazilian has only recently signed a long-term contract at Anfield, which does not contain a release clause, meaning that Liverpool and Klopp have a firm negotiating stance in any potential discussions with Barcelona.
The potential arrival of Rakitic in place of Coutinho would do little to ease the pain of the former Internazionale man's departure for most Liverpool fans, as the Croatian endured a difficult season last term.
The midfielder, signed from Sevilla in 2014, scored nine goals in 51 games as Barcelona finished second to Real Madrid in the title race, but struggled to impose himself on the starting XI.
Rakitic would by no means be a replacement for Coutinho, as he possesses a slower, less dynamic playing style than that of the latter, and his inclusion in the deal is expected to make no difference as Liverpool maintain their stance that Coutinho is not for sale, at any price.
Despite this, a move to the Nou Camp is an illustrious one that most players can only dream of, and when Barcelona target a player, they very rarely fail. Liverpool can only hope that Coutinho does not have his head turned by the Spanish giants, although that is easier said than done.