Liverpool have been tipped to remain firm on their stance that star midfielder Philippe Coutinho is not for sale, despite Barcelona’s apparent intention to once more try and price the Brazilian away when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau publicly declared this week that the Catalans have the resources and willingness to sign Coutinho should the club’s coaching and technical staff ask: “We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market or any player the technical staff request.”
It follows on from a summer saga that saw Barça chase the 25-year-old until the very end of August, submitting at least three enormous bids, all of which were rejected.
Yet despite Grau’s comments, a report from the Independent states that Liverpool remain intent on keeping hold of Coutinho and will ‘continue to refuse to enter negotiations’.
It is said that the Reds will not allow any of their star names to leave the club midway through the season, with Coutinho in particular now settled back into life at Anfield after seemingly preparing himself all summer for a new challenge at Camp Nou.
The Independent’s report flies in the face of the latest gossip from Catalunya on the saga, with Mundo Deportivo claiming this week that Coutinho has an ‘agreement’ with Liverpool that will allow him to leave in January for a deal worth around €110m.
It seems highly unlikely that Liverpool would accept a lower offer in January than they rejected during the summer when Coutinho, at least temporarily, appears committed to the club.