Date: 10th August 2017 at 8:39am
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The club remains steadfast despite improved Barcelona offer and reports that the player is interested in moving to the Camp Nou…

Liverpool’s insistence that Philippe Coutinho is not for sale at any price was given a substantial test on Wednesday night, just 48 hours before the start of the new Premier League season.

Three weeks on from seeing an initial £72million approach for the player rejected, Barcelona, as expected, finally returned with a new and substantially improved offer.

Unfortunately for the Catalans, their latest bid of £90.4million (?100m), made up of £76.8million (?85m) up front and £13.6million in add-ons (?15m) according to Sky Sports, has merely seen the Merseysiders reiterate that Coutinho is not currently for sale at any price.

Barca’s latest effort to acquire the former Inter Milan man follows the completion of Neymar’s world record £200million switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

Their hopes of acquiring Coutinho as a replacement seemed to be boosted earlier in the week when it emerged that the player, who has so far remained tight-lipped on the matter, would like to make the move.

However, after signing a new five-year contract in January, the Brazilian has so far refused to rock the boat and, according to the Liverpool ECHO, respects the club’s stance.

Indeed, of greater concern to the Reds at present is seemingly a back injury that threatens to rule the 25-year-old out of Saturday’s opening day trip to Watford.

Coutinho, who missed Liverpool’s final pre-season match against Athletic Bilbao last weekend with the problem, has failed to take part in team training since suffering the issue during the Audi Cup.

Following their trip to Vicarage Road, J├╝rgen Klopp‘s side face the first leg of a pivotal Champions League play-off with Hoffenheim.

Vital Comment
It’s no surprise to see Barca reignite their interest in Coutinho and in any other summer their latest offer might have been tempting. However, Neymar’s transfer has, temporarily at least, and certainly in the case of all prospective deals involving the La Liga giants, moved the goalposts. As good as Neymar is he’s not twice the player of Coutinho! For me, Liverpool’s firm rebuttals continue to be the order of the day and one can only hope Coutinho remains professional and committed to the cause. His exit would be a crushing blow to supporters, who worship the player, to Klopp’s aspirations of moulding the Reds into regular trophy chasers and to owners Fenway Sports Group‘s hopes of proving their commitment to an increasingly doubtful fanbase.

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