Even when reported bids in excess of €100m were tabled, the Reds kept their nerve and a key player, despite the football world expecting them to succumb to the Blaugrana’s onslaught.
Reports in the Daily Mirror claim the 25-year-old Brazilian has now told Liverpool that he still wants to leave the club and move to the Spanish giants. The news was delivered following talks between his agents and the Merseyside club’s owners.
While a January sale can’t be ruled out, Fenway Sports may be tempted to wait until after the World Cup, hoping his performances for Brazil spark a bidding war.
It’s a body blow to Jurgen Klopp with Coutinho’s value to the side underlined with his goal at the King Power at the weekend.
After a back injury – stress-related according to the Brazilian FA medical team – delayed his start to the season, the 3 – 2 win over Leicester saw him back to his best, directing operations at the heart of the Liverpool midfield.
Barcelona were desperate to land the Brazilian although there was concern at the Camp Nou that Neymar Jr’s record-breaking sale to Paris St Germain may scupper the deal.
However, Coutinho’s desire to move to Spain remains undiminished with PSG also needing to sell before they sign any new players to ensure compliance with FFP regulations.