Liverpool transfer news: Virgil van Dijk still open to Anfield move

Southampton defender has no regrets after trying to force the transfer

Virgil van Dijk
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Coutinho exit looms - Liverpool scout possible replacements

14 August

Having handed in a transfer request to Jurgen Klopp on Friday, Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Barcelona looks ever more likely with Metro reporting that the club store has removed all sign of Coutinho "from their window display".

After weeks of pressure the Reds will finally cave into Barcelona's persistence, claims The Sun, and accept a third and final offer of £137m for the Brazilian, with the move sealed sometime this week. Coutinho apparently "expects to get his way" and his advisers allege that the Merseyside club have been aware for months of his wish to move to the Camp Nou.

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As to who Klopp will bring in to replace Coutinho, the Sunday Mirror claims that the German manager is lining up Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne as his replacement.

Apparently Liverpool are ready to offer Napoli £60m for their midfielder, who scored 20 goals last season. But will the Serie A outfit sell? The Mirror says that the "Italians insist their star is not for sale", but money talks more than ever these days and the prospect of banking £60m would be tough to resist for Napoli.

But if they do stick to their guns, then Klopp is expected to turn his attention to Max Meyer , described by the Mirror as a "German superkid". The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has just turned down the chance to extend his stay at Schalke and the German media report that he would like the chance to work with Klopp, a manager he admired greatly when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

Coutinho hands in transfer request after £90m Barcelona bid

11 August

Liverpool's hopes of resisting Barcelona's efforts to steal Philippe Coutinho have been dealt a blow after the Brazil international submitted a transfer request.

The 25-year-old told the club of his desire to leave hours after it was reported that Liverpool had turned down an offer of around £90m from the Spanish giants, who last week sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for £198m.

According to Sky Sports, Barcelona "are prepared to pay up to £110m for Coutinho, who signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract at Liverpool in January".

After news of the transfer request emerged, a relative of Coutinho told Sky: "Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this situation but to no avail.

"He has tremendous love for the club and its fans, but like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms."

Until now Liverpool have been adamant that Coutinho is not for sale. The player signed a new five-year deal last season that doesn't contain a release clause. This puts Liverpool in a strong position as they're under no obligation to sell.

But Coutinho's announcement changes the picture dramatically.

"His request submitted via email is designed to try and force the issue," says Ian Dennis of BBC Radio 5 Live. "The club are adamant that no offers will be considered but what are the repercussions regarding the relationship with Coutinho and the fans now?"

Coutinho's actions will leave "disappointed fans in no doubt that he wants to turn his back on the club and their affections, despite being a huge idol", says David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

But FSG, which owns Liverpool, remain adamant they will not sell and took a similarly tough line with Luis Suarez in 2013. He eventually left a year later.

In a preview piece for the Mirror, Maddock argues Liverpool can weather the storm. "If Liverpool can get to September with the Brazilian in red, next summer's World Cup dictates he will give everything on the pitch, no matter how much he wanted a move to the Camp Nou."

Liverpool reject €100m bid as Barcelona close in on Coutinho

10 August

Barcelona have upped the ante in their efforts to lure Philippe Coutinho from Anfield, with The Guardian reporting that the Spanish giants have tabled a second bid of €100m (£90m) bid for the Brazil midfielder.

Like the first bid of €80m (£72m), Liverpool have rejected the approach and reiterated to the La Liga outfit that "Coutinho is not for sale".

Despite reports in the Spanish press that the club had sent three of its officials to England to thrash out a deal for the 25-year-old playmaker, Liverpool are determined not to sell their influential playmaker for any price and "consider the matter closed".

But the Guardian suggests that Barca might come back with a third offer because "their latest approach does reflect a confidence at Camp Nou that Coutinho is keen on making the move". That might be the case but unfortunately for the Brazilian the five-year contract that he signed last season, worth around £150,000 a week, doesn't contain a release clause and so if the Reds say no then there's nothing he can do about it.

According to the Daily Mirror, which also carried the story of the second bid for Coutinho, Barcelona have embarked upon a concerted campaign to "destabilise his position at Anfield" and the Catalan club remain confident that they will prise him from Liverpool before the end of the transfer window.

Currently sidelined with a back problem, the South American is set to miss the start of Liverpool's league campaign this season with the Mirror saying that Jurgen Klopp is becoming increasingly concerned at the "prospect of having to reject yet more Nou Camp propaganda" about his star player.

Coutinho wants to leave Liverpool as Barcelona offer £100m

9 August

Liverpool are in a pickle over Philippe Coutinho as Barcelona ramp up the pressure on the Anfield club as they try to lure the player to Spain.

Although Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the player is not for sale, it seems that the 25-year-old has had his head turned and is now agitating for a move, and with Barcelona prepared to pay more than £100m the club may agree to a deal, no matter how unpopular it is with the fans.

According to The Sun, the Brazilian is "undertaking a training protest at Liverpool", because he now has his heart set on a move to Barcelona.

Apparently the sulky South American has told Reds gaffer Jurgen Klopp that "he wishes to leave Anfield this summer" and head to the Camp Nou where he will fill the boots of Neymar.

His compatriot's move to Paris Saint-Germain has prompted the interest from Barca and they have already had one bid of £72m turned down by the Merseyside outfit. The Sun says that Liverpool are "adamant" Coutinho is going nowhere but there is growing speculation that if Barcelona up their offer to £120m then the Reds will find it hard to resist.

They bought Coutinho from Inter Milan in 2013 for just £8.5m, and the profit they stand to make could be spent on bringing in several new players between now and the end of August.

According to the Daily Express "a delegation of three Barca officials" have arrived in England to seal the deal and they won't take no for an answer. The trio - Oscar Grau, Raul Sanllehi and Javier Bordas - hope that their presence will up the pressure on the Reds to offload Coutinho, but the Express says that if Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, do cave in they they "would face a huge backlash from angry Reds fans".

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