Barcelona’s interest in Liverpool playmaker Philippe Countinho is well-known, and the player has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou stadium for some time. The Spanish giants have already had one transfer bid for the Brazilian rejected as their £72 million offer was recently turned down by the Anfield club.
Coutinho signed a five-year contract earlier this year to stay with Liverpool. However, that hasn’t put off Barcelona from attempting to sign the player. After Barcelona’s £72m bid for Coutinho was rejected by Liverpool, manager Jurgen Klopp addressed the media about the player during the team’s preseason tour in Hong Kong.
“Yes, [Coutinho is not for sale] but that’s not since this morning or yesterday, it’s not been any different. Phil is a very important player for us,” Klopp said. “He’s trying to get back his rhythm but there’s no doubt about his quality. He’s very smart both offensively and defensively. The nice news for us is that he’s still young. He has improved a lot since I’ve been here and he can still improve a lot.
“I’m not surprised that any club is interested in players at Liverpool. The very important message is that we are not a selling club and that’s how it is. We believe in working together and developing together. We want to make the next step together and for this we need to stay together. We have to create a situation where everybody is easily able to see which direction we want to go. It’s really positive. This is a fantastic club and it’s a good moment for Liverpool.”
Coutinho is close friends with Barcelona’s Neymar and Luis Suarez; and past reports indicated former Barca player Dani Alves had spoken to the Liverpool man about moving to Spain. In March of this year, Coutinho spoke about staying at Liverpool for years to come with ESPN Brasil.
“Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour,” Coutinho said. “Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more. I have a long contract with Liverpool. Speculation is for journalists only.”
Liverpool have no apparent intentions of selling Coutinho. However, a bid in the region of £100m, could sway the club into a sale of the Brazilian. With time running out until the beginning of the new Premier League season, Barcelona are running out of time to sign the player.