Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain didn’t exactly do Liverpool any favours.
In £196 million falling into Barcelona’s hands, the Catalans have ramped up their chase for Philippe Coutinho. With Liverpool standing firm in the face of a transfer request, an almighty tug-of-war looks set to punctuate the next three weeks.
It’s anybody’s guess as to the jersey Coutinho will pull on come September.
What is for sure, though, is that Barcelona will have to up their bid. The Reds have already rejected offers of £72m and £90m, the latter of which would be the second largest ever paid.
The Spaniards are prepared to foot over £100m and with Coutinho already expressing his discomfort, it might break Liverpool’s resolve. The situation will become increasingly frosty with every rejected bid.
And the more the club stifles advances, the more likely the 25-year-old will be to force through the move himself. Coutinho’s commitment would have to be called into question if he ever starred for his current side again.
All that considered, Liverpool might have to consign themselves to defeat and very soon.
It would see the club handed the mother of all paydays but very little time in which to secure any signings in response. As a result, it wouldn’t be defeatist to at least consider replacements were the unthinkable to happen.
According to the Mirror, Jurgen Klopp’s men have done just that.
Lorenzo Insigne is the man on Liverpool’s radar and for an estimated fee of £60 million. Such a move would nearly double the club’s current transfer record but money wouldn’t exactly be an issue.
The 26-year-old has plied his trade with Napoli for the past six years, establishing an impressive reputation in Serie A. Furthermore, last season marked his highest scoring season with the club, amassing 20 strikes.
Klopp is believed to be a long-term admirer of the Italian who would add the kind of attacking flair and ingenuity for which Coutinho was known.
His club are insisting that he is not for sale but given the fees potentially at Liverpool’s disposal, the Reds are confident of striking a deal.
Nevertheless, if Napoli stay true to their word then German starlet Max Meyer will prove the next port of call. He has recently rejected a new contract at Schalke and with his current deal expiring next year, could leave for a cut price.
Meyer is believed to be open to a link-up with the midfielder having been chased by the Liverpool manager during his Borussia Dortmund tenure.