Liverpool Braced for £100m Barcelona Coutinho Bid as La Liga Giants Eye Immediate Neymar Replacement
Liverpool are preparing themselves for an apparently imminent £100m bid for Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona plan for life without Neymar.
The Catalan giants were rocked by the news that their Brazilian superstar wanted to leave in a world-record £198m switch to Paris Saint-Germain, and have begun putting a plan in motion to replace him.
Their first port of call, according to Mundo Deportivo, will be to entice Liverpool into selling Coutinho to them and La Blaugrana will likely be confident of prising him away from Anfield.
So determined are Barcelona to land the 25-year-old, the report goes on to claim that they want him to head to La Liga by Monday when the club take on Chapecoense in their annual Joan Camper trophy pre-season friendly contest.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has remained adamant that his star playmaker is not for sale no matter what money is offered for him, and Liverpool will hope that Coutinho will want to stay in the Premier League if his good friend is no longer part of the Barca first-team set up.
However, Ernesto Valverde could lure Coutinho to the Nou Camp with the promise of becoming the newest third member of his side's fearsome front three alongside Lionel Messi and former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez.
According to reports, Barcelona will try to sign Eden Hazard and Philippe Coutinho when Neymar completes his world record to PSG.— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) August 3, 2017
Klopp was asked about the likelihood that Coutinho could depart before the summer transfer window slams shut in September, and the German bristled over continuing queries about the former Inter Milan man's future.
He remarked: “I can understand that Coutinho is so highly rated, but they can save their energy.
“You formulate the question in a strange way. Where is the interpretation if you say he (Coutinho) is not available to be sold?
“The word "not" means there is nothing to interpret. It is nothing new from our point of view.”
Reports had alleged that Coutinho has already agreed personal terms with Barcelona ahead of any potential move, but gossip on that has since gone quiet as Neymar's own transfer has taken over the news.
The 25-year-old ex-Santos starlet said goodbye to his Barca team-mates on Wednesday after being granted leave to undergo a medical with the Ligue 1 giants, and could be a PSG player by the weekend.