Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu Responds to Philippe Coutinho Rumours

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has offered his stance on Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, with the Spanish giants known to be pursuing the Brazilian star.

The 25-year-old is actively being courted by the Blaugrana who are said to have had a £72m bid previously rejected.

Liverpool have slapped a £133m price tag on Coutinho to warn off the Spanish giants and Jurgen Klopp is doing everything in his power to ensure the mercurial midfielder remains on Merseyside this summer.

But Bartomeu says he is a big fan of the Brazilian international and that the club will be looking to sign a midfielder.

Speaking in Spanish publication Sport, per the Mirror, he said: "He's a Liverpool player and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool, which we do in the summer is to be very discreet about everything, so we can not confirm or deny anything.

"There will be more players (coming in), one in the middle, sure."

Judging by Bartomeu's comments, Barca may wish to use Coutinho in a deeper midfield role and perhaps see him as a natural replacement for the ageing Andres Iniesta.

Many suggested that the Liverpool man was seen as a successor to Neymar, should he join Paris Saint-Germain, but perhaps the Blaugrana want to acquire him for different purposes.

But, if Neymar does leave for France, Coutinho will be used on the left-wing while the club looks for a suitable central midfielder to join their ranks. Marco Verratti? Who knows.