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Philippe Coutinho Bid of £138M Reportedly Lodged by Barcelona Ahead of Deadline

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Middlesbrough at Anfield on May 21, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly made a final push to sign Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho in the form of a £138 million bid.

According to Ed Aarons of the Guardian, a fourth offer for the player has been put on the table by the Blaugrana:

Ed Aarons @ed_aarons

Very late one but told Barcelona have made a new bid of £138m for Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool still not expected to accept #lfc

While the deadline for English clubs to sign players was on Thursday, La Liga teams have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday to wrap up any new signings. It means Coutinho could still become a Barcelona player.

However, at this late stage, it would be a huge surprise if Liverpool opted to sell Coutinho. According to Paul Joyce of The Times (via the BBC's Neil Henderson), the Reds wanted to spend big on Virgil van Dijk and Thomas Lemar on the final day of the transfer window, though the only arrival was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal.

According to Simon Hughes of The Independent, Liverpool's determination to keep Coutinho stems from a desire to change the club's image.

"[Owner] Fenway [Sports Group has] been determined to change Liverpool's reputation, and by not relenting to Coutinho's wishes, for the time being at least, it sends a message to their own players as well as rivals that this is not a selling club," Hughes noted.

Liverpool's owners are said to be intent on keeping Coutinho.
Liverpool's owners are said to be intent on keeping Coutinho.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool released a statement early in the transfer window saying they would not be entertaining any offers for Coutinho despite Barcelona's admiring glances and substantial bid. The player then issued a transfer request in an attempt to get his move.

According to journalist Guillem Balague, despite their interest, Barcelona seem resigned to not signing one of their top summer targets:

Guillem Balague @GuillemBalague

The 4th FCB offer for Coutinho has been prepared for days but not sent yet. I think they realise it will be rejected

The pursuit of the player has been somewhat desperate from the Blaugrana, who have sought to re-establish their reputation.

Paris Saint-Germain's decision to part with £200 million to sign Neymar was a huge blow for the Catalan club. Not only did they lose a world-class talent, but any team Barcelona approach over signing a new player is aware of just how flush they are.

Neymar's decision to leave put Barcelona in a difficult situation.
Neymar's decision to leave put Barcelona in a difficult situation.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

In Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona have made a tremendous capture from Borussia Dortmund. Still, Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez hasn't been pleased with the club's work in the transfer window:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Barcelona answers to Real Madrid winning consecutive UCLs and a double by having the worst summer window in the club’s history.

Time may be ticking to get deals done, but while elite players around the world are away on international duty, doors may open late on for Barcelona. Undoubtedly, there are areas in the squad that require an injection of class.

Coutinho will surely remain a Liverpool player at this point, though, regardless of the amount of money the Catalan giants are willing to put on the table.

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