Liverpool can afford to reject £100m offer for Philippe Coutinho, claims legend
Steve Nicol insists Liverpool aren't under pressure to sell Philippe Coutinho even if Barcelona offer £100m
Steve Nicol is adamant that Liverpool can afford to turn down a £100m offer from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho.
The Reds are having to fend off interest from the La Liga giants in their number 10 in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona are thought to be targeting Coutinho as a potential replacement for Brazil striker Neymar, who is being linked with Paris Saint-Germain.
Coutinho has established himself as a key member of the Liverpool team in the past few seasons under Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp since Luis Suarez quit Anfield for Barcelona in 2014.
The 25-year-old scored 13 goals and made seven assists in the Premier League last season, including netting seven times in his last 10 games.
Former Liverpool defender Nicol doesn’t believe the Reds are under pressure to accept a £100m offer from Barcelona for Coutinho.
“Liverpool can refuse £100m,” Nicol told ESPN FC on Friday afternoon.
“They’re given £100m for staying in Premier League straight off the bat. It has to be about winning the titles.
“The owners have them on a good financial footing. Now they have to take a step forward on the pitch. They need to keep Coutinho and their best players to do that.
“If they sell Coutinho, they may as well turn the lights out.”
Liverpool are preparing for a return to the Champions League next season as they gear up for Klopp’s second full campaign in charge at Anfield.
The Reds finished fourth in the Premier League last season under the German manager.
Fact file: Philippe Coutinho
– Liverpool signed Philippe Coutinho in an £8.5m deal from Serie A giants Inter Milan in the 2013 January transfer window.
– The South American is still waiting to win his first trophy with Liverpool but finished as a Premier League runner-up in 2014.
– Coutinho was voted Liverpool’s player of the year in 2015 and 2016 thanks to his influential performances.
– The Liverpool No10 has scored 42 times in 184 appearances in all competitions during his four-and-a-half year stint at Anfield.