It’s been two weeks since Liverpool received Barcelona’s opening bid for Philippe Coutinho. Two weeks since the club told the Catalan club not to waste their time and that any further bids would be rejected. Two weeks of nearly daily reports in the Catalan press saying a deal was done and the player would be announced tomorrow.
In short, it’s been two weeks of not much happening over and over again. Through it all, Liverpool have remained firm in their stance: the player is not for sale. Barcelona have decided to test that resolve by launching a second bid for the 25-year-old, submitting an offer of €100M (£90.5M)* for the dynamic attacking midfielder.
Liverpool have rejected the bid and maintain their stance: Coutinho is not for sale. The Times’ Paul Joyce, arguably the top journalist when it comes to insight into the club and their dealings, earlier in the day said senior officials at Anfield were both “bemused” by Barcelona’s ongoing interest in Coutinho and firm in their stance.
He and other journalists with ties to the club have reiterated that message this evening. The bid was rejected instantly, Barcelona were told the player is not for sale at any price and that they are not open to entering into negotiations, and they continue to believe they do not face a battle to hold on to the player for the coming season.
Following Barcelona’s decision to pursue Marco Verratti at the start of the summer, any chance of the Catalan club moving for the player this year was considered to have disappeared, and both Liverpool and Coutinho then moved forward in the belief that he was certain to remain at Liverpool for at least the 2017-18 season.
Barcelona’s inability to sign Verratti and their subsequent inability to hold on to Neymar changed their plans, but their interest in Coutinho now comes too late in the window for Liverpool to consider selling the player no matter the size of the fee offered, and the club do not believe the player will attempt to force the issue.
LFC have rejected bid of 100m euros for Coutinho from Barca. Barca have been told (again) he’s not for sale. LFC consider the matter closed…— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) August 9, 2017
*Addendum: further reports have clarified that the €100M fee included all add-ons and that the base fee offered by Barcelona was €85M (£76.8M).