Football, Premier League 2017-08-24 7:04 AM

According to a report by The Sun, Barcelona are preparing to test Liverpool’s resolve one final time by lodging a £136 million for Philippe Coutinho. This comes in the wake of widespread reports that the Catalan club had given the Reds a Sunday deadline to accept their last offer for the Brazilian playmaker.
Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013 since when he’s been making steady progress in his career. Over the last two seasons though, the player has become the Reds’ talisman, establishing himself as one of the best attackers in the Premier League.

2016/17 turned out to be the most productive campaign of his senior career, with a return of 13 goals and 7 assists to show for his efforts. However, his stock has skyrocketed ever since then, putting his Liverpool future under a cloud.
Barcelona have been in hot pursuit of Coutinho for the entire summer, while the player handed a badly timed transfer request only a couple of days before Liverpool’s season opener two weeks ago. Reports have also claimed that the 25-year-old is refusing to play for the Merseyside club.

Barcelona have been in desperate search of a playmaker this summer, with the void left by the departure of Xavi felt dearly at Camp Nou in the last two seasons. With Andres Iniesta in the twilight years of his career as well, and uncertainty surrounding his future at the club, things are threatening to spiral out of control.
Ivan Rakitic’s slump in form hasn’t helped matters either, while Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes have just not been able to stamp their authority. Coutinho has, thus, been a viable target for the Blaugrana.

However, Liverpool have stood firm on their stance on the player thus far, insisting that they will not sell their prized asset this summer. The Catalan club have had three bids rejected for Coutinho so far, and reports on the weekend claimed that they had given a Sunday deadline to the Reds to accept their final offer.
However, they have now placed one final bid to test Liverpool’s resolve – an offer worth a staggering £136 million. The aforementioned amount includes an initial £100 million fee plus £36 million in add-ons.

The add-ons involve a payment of £9 million every time Barcelona qualify for the Champions League in the next four seasons, virtually guaranteeing that the Merseyside club will receive the payout. Coutinho, meanwhile, has a five-year deal on the table from the Catalans.
It now remains to be seen if Liverpool accept the latest offer from Barcelona. Having been defiant on their stance on the player thus far though, it is unlikely that they will budge at the eleventh hour, when finding a replacement would be nigh on impossible.

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