Barcelona Arrive For Coutinho Talks

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Despite their £72m bid being rejected, a delegation from Barcelona arrived on Merseyside to tempt Liverpool into a deal for 25-year-old midfielder Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Express.

Jurgen Klopp re-iterated his view that the Brazilian international was not for sale and has so far been backed by the club’s board. However, as the offers from the Catalan increase on an almost daily basis.

With Real Madrid on course to land Kylian Mbappe, 18, from Monaco, Barcelona need to announce their own marquee signing. Arsenal refused to enter into discussions over right-back Hector Bellerin, 22, but Liverpool’s willingness to discuss Coutinho’s future offers hope agreement can be reached over a fee.

Signed for £8.5m from Internazionale in 2013, Coutinho has slowly worked himself into a position of being a pivotal member of the Liverpool line-up. Last season, he missed two months through injury yet remained the club’s top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions.

Along with Sadio Mane, 25, his absence was a key reason why the Reds title bid faltered and ended in a scrap for fourth. Liverpool, interested in Mbappe and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, are not minded to sell.

However, their valuation of €100m is not far from the current Barcelona bid. With Oxlade-Chamberlain a snip at £25m, the prospect of a healthy profit, even after agent fees, may be too difficult to turn down.