Reports: Barcelona to make stunning £97 million bid for midfielder in January
They might have suffered massive reverses in the transfer market this summer, but a couple of setbacks aren't going to keep Barcelona, or Josep Bartomeu, down. According to the good folk at Mundo Deportivo the Catalans are going to rekindle the burnt-out embers of one of their most passionate pursuits of recent times and in January come back to Liverpool FC and table a solid £97 million, or €110 million, bid for Brazilian playmaker Phillippe Coutinho.
In case you didn't know
This fresh bid is coming despite Bartomeu and the Sporting Director of Barcelona, Robert Fernandez, saying on the day after Spanish Deadline Day 2017 closed that Liverpool had demanded an exorbitant €200 million - and considering that Liverpool had rejected three offers in the vicinity of €100 million already this summer, no one is quite sure how exactly Barca intend to convince the Merseysiders to part with their sulking superstar.
The heart of the matter
Coutinho has put a suspiciously fast healing back ailment and an utterly fractious summer with Jurgen Klopp behind him and has started doing what he does best - score goals that no one else in Liverpool Red quite can. In fact, in his last three matches, he's managed to find the back of the net three times and is in the kind of red-hot form that elicited interest from Catalunya in the first place.
Coutinho may once again try and force through a move - but with Liverpool standing every chance of remaining competitive in Europe in the beginning of 2018, how the clubs' fans, who are only slowly beginning to "forgive" him and accept him back into their fold, will react to any such action on the Brazilian's part is anybody's guess
Here's Coutinho doing what Coutinho does best, against Newcastle:
Phew, the lad can play, eh?
Although Ousmane Dembele is currently out with injury, he is expected back in January and the Catalans then should have enough squad depth to compete for the remainder of the season. Of greater concern to them is Andres Iniesta's ageing, and seemingly frail, physiology and while Coutinho is an ideal long-time replacement for the great man, signing a player who can't play in the Champions League for such an amount (that is if Liverpool even agree) may not be the best ploy.