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Dublin: 5°C Monday 17 May 2021

Liverpool dig in their heels and turn down third Barca bid for Philippe Coutinho worth £119m

The Catalan side are unwilling to give up the chase but the Reds remain confident the Brazilian will remain at Anfield.

Image: Kin Cheung

LIVERPOOL HAVE TURNED down a third bid from Barcelona for playmaker Philippe Coutinho that is thought to be in the region of £119 million.

The Anfield top brass do not want to sell the Brazilian, releasing a statement last week reiterating that stance. However, that was followed by Coutinho submitting a transfer request and, as a result, his future remains unclear.

The first two bids from the Catalan giants were £72m and £90m, though Liverpool were prepared for them to return with another offer.

Barcelona – reeling from the loss of Neymar and the thumping Super Cup defeat to bitter rivals Real Madrid – have talked up the possibility of signing Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele. But behind the posturing, it looks difficult for both deals to go through.

Dembele has attempted to force through a move by refusing to train and Dortmund have suspended the 20-year-old indefinitely because of his behaviour and now may want to simply wash their hands of a troublesome character.

But Coutinho is a more quiet and negotiable character and Liverpool are confident he won’t agitate for a Barcelona move and will respect the fact he signed a five-year contract only in January.

What’s more irritating for Liverpool is the fact that they can’t get Coutinho on a pitch right now because of a back complaint picked up in pre-season. He will be absent, again, for the side’s clash with Crystal Palace this weekend.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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