Jurgen Klopp may have received a major fillip ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League second leg against Hoffenheim on Wednesday after a report claimed Philippe Coutinho will be staying at the club this season.
Coutinho has been the subject of several huge bids from Barcelona—which is seeking a replacement for Neymar in the final weeks of the transfer window—the latest reported to be £114 million ($146.5 million), although that apparently included Coutinho winning multiple Champions Leagues with Barcelona.
Liverpool’s response to each approach from Barcelona has been the same: a firm no.
The Guardian reported on Monday that Barcelona was weighing up a fourth offer for Coutinho, 25, who has not featured in either of Liverpool’s two Premier League games so far this season due to injury.
But the Daily Mirror claims Liverpool has “won the battle” to keep Coutinho, with the deadline for Liverpool to accept the latest bid having passed on Sunday. Coutinho signed a new five-year contract in January, and Liverpool is under no pressure to sell. Indeed, a sale at this stage even for upwards of £100 million would make it difficult for Liverpool to find a replacement before the transfer window closes on August 31.
That deadline passing means Barcelona has had to give up on the idea that it can lure Coutinho to the Nou Camp this summer. Instead it will have to look elsewhere as it seeks to spend the world-record £200 million it received from Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar.
The news will come as a relief to Klopp, who is attempting to pilot Liverpool through a tricky Champions League playoff tie against Hoffenheim. Liverpool takes a 2-1 lead back to Anfield on Wednesday night, knowing that victory on aggregate over the two legs will secure it safe and lucrative passage through to the Champions League group stages.