Barcelona to tempt Liverpool with Rakitic
The latest tug-of-war of the summer 2017 transfer window consists of Liverpool and Barcelona battling it out for Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho. The Premier League club insist that he is going nowhere, whilst Catalan giants Barcelona refuse to be deterred.
Since his arrival from Inter Milan in 2013, Phillippe Coutinho has become a firm favourite with the Anfield faithful. He has a pivotal role in Liverpool's plans for the new season, something that manager Jurgen Klopp is very aware of.
It has been some time since Liverpool were champions of England - before the Premier League even existed. If they are to finally change that statistic, they must keep hold of their star players, which Klopp is determined to do.
It wouldn't be the first time that Barcelona had poached a key player from the Merseyside club, however. Luis Suarez made the move in 2014, albeit in different circumstances, following a number of controversial incidents involving the Uruguay striker.
Barcelona intend to return to winning ways in La Liga this season and see Coutinho as the man to help them do that. Their determination to sign the 25-year-old will only escalate if Neymar completes his mega-money move to PSG in the coming days.
Offers for Coutinho have so far been in the region of £80 million, but Liverpool have stated that they will not even consider an offer below £130 million. Although the Neymar deal would see them have sufficient funds to make such an offer, Barcelona are now considering a different approach, one that would see them make a part-exchange deal.
Spanish media is today suggesting that Barcelona will approach Liverpool with a cash-plus-player offer involving Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Whilst an offer is yet to made, it could finally be a deal that would appeal to Liverpool. It would see them receive a highly rated, established midfielder, eliminating the search for a replacement in time for the new season.
Whether the club would be prepared to accept the offer of a player who, despite being highly regarded, is unproven in the Premier League is yet to be seen, but it would certainly give them something to think about.
One thing is for certain, when Liverpool said that Coutinho is not for sale and a deal would not be happening, as it so often seems, this one is far from over.