Reports: Liverpool close to signing £60 million superstar as Coutinho's replacement
What's the story?
Philippe Coutinho's future has been subject to intense speculation and with Barcelona now reportedly confident of sealing a deal for the Brazilian, reports in The Mirror claim that the Reds are readying a £60 million bid for Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne.
Despite Liverpool playing hardball over Coutinho's transfer, Jurgen Klopp is reportedly planning for life without the playmaker and Insigne heads the list as realistic replacements for Coutinho.
However, with Napoli playing Nice and Liverpool playing Hoffenheim in the Champions League qualification third round matches, any deal for both Coutinho and Insigne is only expected to be completed after those two legs.
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Coutinho shocked both the Liverpool fans and the board when he handed in a transfer request via email saying that he wanted to leave the club and join Barcelona. The timing of the transfer request is what vexed Liverpool and it will be interesting to see whether they decide to keep an unhappy player or end up selling him for the right money.
Also, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has long admired the 26-year-old Italian winger who scored 20 goals for Napoli last season. Blessed with good pace, trickery and dribbling skills, Insigne could prove to be an ideal fit for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp.
The heart of the matter
FSG is pretty firm on not selling Coutinho, but if a bid of over £100 million is received, it might be better for the Reds to cash in on the money and sign Insigne as a replacement instead of keeping an unhappy player.
However, Napoli like Liverpool are pretty firm on keeping their best players and only a monumental bid could tempt the Serie A side to sell their Italian winger. Should Napoli refuse to sell Insigne, Liverpool are reportedly also keeping tabs on wantaway Schalke star Max Meyer.
Also read: Coutinho saga far from Klopp's primary focus
No player is bigger than the club and should Coutinho want to depart, Liverpool will do well to swoop in and sign the talented Italian winger. Insigne looks like the perfect Klopp type of player and he could be ideal for the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
However, there does not seem to be enough time left in the transfer window and most probably Coutinho and Insigne will remain at their respective clubs.