Here we go again.
We’re just two days into January and it looks as though another Barcelona-Philippe Coutinho has started.
The Spanish club were desperate to sign the midfielder in the summer only for Liverpool to stand firm and reject all approaches for him.
Five months later, and it’s happening all over again.
Even Nike have got involved by advertising Barca shirts with Coutinho on the back, claiming he’s arrived at the Camp Nou before swiftly deleting it.
LIVERPOOL WILL DEMAND BIG FEE
One thing is for sure, though, it’s going to take an astronomical fee to sign him - especially after Nike’s blunder.
According to the Telegraph, Liverpool will use that error by the sports manufacturer to their advantage.
“Liverpool will demand an astronomical fee for Philippe Coutinho before they consider the sale of the Brazilian to Barcelona after the Spanish side’s shirt manufacturers were guilty of an extraordinary marketing blunder,” Chris Bascombe wrote in the Telegraph.
WHAT BARCELONA WILL OFFER FOR COUTINHO
And according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barca have already decided the amount they’re willing to offer in January.
They’re reporting that they will bid €110 million (£97 million) fixed, plus another €40 million (£33 million) in variables related to the performance of the Brazilian. That means the fee could rise to €150 million (£130 million).
However, there’s no guarantee that Liverpool would accept such an offer.
They are bound to play hardball once again over Coutinho and probably aren’t likely to accept the first offer they receive. And it would certainly be foolish to sell their star player halfway through a season with them still competing in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.
And Jurgen Klopp has already insisted that selling players that they need to the second half of the campaign isn’t something that appeals to him.
KLOPP ON SELLING PLAYERS IN JANUARY
"The first thing we have to make sure is that we have the squad we need for the second part of the season," Klopp said recently.
"Usually you make an agreement for a year. I know players have longer contracts and stuff like that but that's how it is [then] everything can happen in the big transfer window in the summer.
"With all the rest, we will see. The club's interest is first, 100 per cent, so we need to make sure that we have enough players for different situations.
"If not, then the club needs to come first, that's how it is. But we will see what happens, there is nothing decided so far, there are a few [clubs interested] in players.
"But if we agree or not? No decisions so far."
So it seems that if Barca think their first offer will be successful, they might need to think again.
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