The rumours linking Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona have only got stronger as the season has progressed. With the summer transfer window on the horizon, fans can expect them to make an assault on the market once they have their new coach in place.
As it stands, the stories linking him with a switch to the Nou Camp are proving to be an unwelcome distraction as they continue to chase down a Champions League spot ahead of next season.
The Reds recorded a disappointing 0-0 draw with Southampton over the weekend, and it looks as though only Arsenal will be able to catch them, if at all, as they have two games in hand over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
With games against West Ham and Middlesbrough remaining, Liverpool should remain on course to keep hold of their top four place, but after seeing the Hammers beat Tottenham last week, fans will be all too aware that anything can happen.
Back in January Coutinho penned a new deal that would keep him at Anfield until 2022, though that hasn’t slowed the rumours down at all.
So much so that according to Spanish publication Sport, the Reds have finally named their price for his services, and unfortunately for the La Liga title contenders, he won’t be coming cheap.
It seems that Jurgen Klopp knows the playa maker’s value and will be demanding an eye-watering €90 million (£76m) in order to snap him up.
The report states that Barcelona are aware that this has the capability to be a difficult transfer, though they feel confident at being able to negotiate with Liverpool having already done so when they signed Luis Suarez.
However, Coutinho and his representatives will also know that they may have to play their part in helping drive down the asking price, which could become a real possibility as the 24-year-old allegedly “aspires to a superior sports project”.
Barca have yet to make an approach for his services as they are waiting until the end of May to see if Liverpool miss out on the top four, therefore strengthening their bargaining position.