Liverpool transfer news: £88m bid for Coutinho, Barcelona want Neymar | Football | Sport
The Brazilian left Anfield for Barcelona in January 2018 to pursue a childhood dream of playing at the Camp Nou.
But things simply haven’t gone to plan and 18 months later, Coutinho has been left wondering where his career goes next.
Barcelona have sealed the £107million signing of Antoine Griezmann this summer and they’re also keen on bringing Neymar back to Catalonia from Paris Saint-Germain to bolster their phenomenal attacking roster.
Yet they will need to sell Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele, if not both, to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and fund the deal.
The 27-year-old has had to watch his former club reach two Champions League finals in the past two seasons, including winning their sixth European crown in Madrid.
Not only that, but Coutinho suffered the humiliation of losing the semi-final second leg 4-0 at Anfield, a place he used to call home.
Liverpool are said to be actively looking to secure a deal for the attacking midfielder and have offered Barcelona a two-year loan with the option for a permanent £88m deal.
However, Barca’s need to bring in cash to sign Neymar means they are unlikely to be willing to lend Coutinho, who has also been linked with PSG, to the Reds.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has claimed that his client is receiving mixed signals from Barcelona.
“The information from Barcelona is rather mixed,” Joorabchian told Sky Sports News.
“We had a meeting last week with the president [Josep] Bartomeu and other directors, and they told us he was absolutely not for sale, that they have never spoken about the boy leaving, that they had never offered him to any club.
“Although there is a guy that works for them called Andre Cury, who apparently has been touting him about – but the president has told us he is categorically not for sale.”
He confirmed that he would find it hard to join another Premier League side given his affinity to Liverpool.
“I think Liverpool lies very, very deeply in his heart,” he said. “He was a big fan of them throughout the campaign [last season].
“He was wishing for them to win the title and he has a very strong affinity there so I think it will be very difficult for him to go to a direct competitor of Liverpool from a personal standpoint.”
The comments suggest Coutinho would only return to English shores should Klopp decide he wants to give him a second chance.