Coutinho Saga Gets Messy as Conflicting Reports of €100m Bid From Barcelona Muddy the Waters
Conflicting reports emerged on Monday night over Barcelona's continued pursuit of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, with French publication RMC claiming that the Spanish side have now seen a €100m offer rejected for the player.
Barcelona are set to lose Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer this month, and are already looking to reinvest the money in their squad - with Coutinho among their top targets. Respected Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce has however dismissed the story, saying Barca have not lodged a new bid.
The Catalan giants have been linked with Coutinho for the last couple of summers, though Liverpool remain adamant that they will not sanction a sale for a player who only signed a new contract in January of this year.
Manager Jurgen Klopp reacted to media reports about Barca's interest on Monday, with the German telling the club's official website in no uncertain terms that the 25-year-old will not be leaving the club: "If you say he is not available to be sold, where is the interpretation? The word ‘not’ means there is no interpretation. There is nothing new."
Barcelona are thought to be desperate to find a replacement - or a series of - for Neymar over the next month, with the left wing position being a key place to strengthen given he is all set to depart. The likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Juventus' Paulo Dybala have each been linked with filling the void.
In addition, Barcelona are also keen on reinvesting more of their incoming cash - believed to be in the region of a staggering £195m - in either Marco Verratti or Paulinho, while they were also linked with a move for Arsenal's Mesut Ozil as an alternative to Coutinho earlier this week.