Barcelona have finally admitted defeat in their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho after Liverpool rejected their latest bid, reports the Mirror.
The Blaugrana made one last offer of £118million, a significant proportion of what they earned from Neymar’s move to PSG, but the Reds rejected it outright.
With the Brazilian having submitted a transfer request and set his heart on a move to the Nou Camp, a lot of fans will have felt the club should have taken the money.
The £118m was not to be paid upfront, however, and when the deal is broken down, it’s easy to see why Liverpool weren’t interested. Just £36m of that fee was made up of add-ons, with conditions such as Coutinho winning the Ballon d’Or and Barca winning the champions League, both of which seem fairly remote possibilities at present. The other £82m of it would have been spread over four years.
If the playmaker is indeed staying at Anfield, he now has to work on repairing his relationship with Liverpool. Such is their attacking prowess thanks to the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, that they are not totally reliant on the 25-year-old, and he needs to make sure he continues to shine in their star-studded front line.
Barca have essentially given the player’s representatives a ‘now or never’ ultimatum – but if he has another good season, and Barca endure the difficult campaign many are predicting – there’s every chance they could come knocking again next summer.
Coutinho has not featured for Liverpool this season because of a back injury and is unlikely to return before the international break.