Liverpool could be facing a battle to keep Philippe Coutinho at Anfield ahead of next season with Paris Saint-Germain interested in signing him.
Reports in France on Thursday suggested that the Ligue 1 champions had expressed their interest in paying €45million and had received encouragement from his representatives that he would be interested in such a move.
The Liverpool Echo have since claimed that PSG have made no such offer but that they are indeed interested in signing the Brazilian playmaker. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is acutely aware of the interest but is unlikely to welcome it.
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Indeed, Coutinho has emerged as a key player since signing from Inter Milan in 2013 and signed a five-year contract in February 2015. A change from Brendan Rodgers to Klopp last year gave the 23-year-old a new manager to impress, but he has since proved adept at coping with the German's fast and furious playing style.
PSG are just the latest club to quietly express an interest in Coutinho after Barcelona and Manchester City were linked prior to Klopp's arrival. However, Liverpool's stance has always been that the player is not for sale and they do not fear losing him.
Big players, big sales
Liverpool have struggled to keep their biggest players at the club in recent summers, losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014 and Raheem Sterling to Manchester City in 2015.
Their departures allowed Rodgers to invest large amounts in the squad, but a number of poor decisions in the transfer market has seen Liverpool regress from their 2013/14 season when they narrowly finished behind champions Manchester City.
But with Klopp undergoing an exciting project, it is hoped that all of their important stars will agree to stay. Indeed, much of the talk around Anfield has been around the players coming in rather than the ones leaving.
But Liverpool have a lot of work to do cutting the fat from the beef. The squad is fully packed with superfluous talent and it is believed Klopp wants to trim it down by selling off the players he does not need.
Players at the top of the list include strikers Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli while long-serving defender Martin Skrtel is also thought to want out after falling out of favour.
The diminutive star will now enjoy a Copa America campaign with Brazil following a strong season in which he scored 12 goals and assisted a further seven. A couple of good performances in the competition would go a long way to earning him an established place in the team.
Needless to say, scouts from the French capital and from other top European clubs will be keeping a close eye on him.
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