Barcelona will find no receding in Liverpool’s resolve not to sell Philippe Coutinho this summer if they submit a fourth bid for the player as it will also be swiftly rejected.
The Reds will not shift from their “definitive stance”, as outlined in an emphatic statement by owners Fenway Sports Group, that no offers will be considered for the Brazil international, who will remain at Anfield come the close of the window.
The last proposal tabled by the Catalan club, which was instantly swatted away on Friday, was followed up by a deadline emailed to Liverpool; they had until Sunday evening to change their minds or the approach would be withdrawn.
The Merseysiders ignored the laughable ultimatum over a base figure of £82 million, which was bloated by improbable release clauses to reach a headline amount of up to £118m.
Reports that Barca are planning to return with a more serious proposition having had zero success in over a month of motioning for the 25-year-old, with the timing of the news coming ahead of yet another matchday, is no real surprise despite their 'final offer' threat last week.
Sky Sports claim Ernesto Valverde’s side are preparing to bid £101m up front with a further £37m in extras contingent on Champions League appearances as they’ll “never give up the fight” to land Coutinho.
However, as Liverpool have stipulated from the onset of Barca’s chase and have maintained ever since, the wantaway playmaker, who has had a transfer request repudiated, is not on the market at any price this summer.
Coutinho has not featured for the club yet this season due to a back injury of convenient timing and Jurgen Klopp has revealed he is now also laid low with a virus.
“If Phil would start tomorrow, which he can’t because on top [of the back injury] he’s now ill, how it was with one or two other players but it was not that serious and so they were back in training today, it would take time because he’s had no training for a long time,” he said, stating there was no date pencilled in for the Brazilian’s return.
The German was asked whether things were still fine between him and Coutinho and whether he would happily welcome back Liverpool’s highest earner when the dust settles over this transfer saga.
“Of course. Yes, indeed. Absolutely. 100 per cent,” was Klopp’s response.
Liverpool line up against Hoffenheim on Wednesday night in the second leg of their Champions League play-off before facing Arsenal on Sunday in their final fixture before deadline day.