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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reportedly been told he will be able to reinvest every penny of any transfer fee the club receives should they sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
According to Steve Bates of the Sunday Mirror, the La Liga side will make an offer of around £130 million for the Brazilian in January and believe they will get their man mid-season.
“And all the money received will be given to Klopp for rebuilding—starting with Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk,” continued Bates. “…Southampton will demand £70 million for the Dutch defender but, if Liverpool give Coutinho the green light to go, that will trigger an immediate move for Van Dijk—and still leave cash spare to search for ways to replace the Brazilian star.”
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As noted in the piece, Barcelona were keen on signing the midfielder in the summer and had repeated offers rejected by the Reds. Coutinho also handed in a transfer request in an attempt to leave Liverpool.
However, he remained at Anfield and has been in smart form early in the campaign. Per Squawka Football, he’s been a tough man for the opposition to contain:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Philippe Coutinho in the league and Champions League this season:
24 chances created
A fee of £130 million is a remarkable sum of money to turn down for a footballer who has made it clear he wants to be elsewhere. If Barcelona were to lodge that type of bid, it would be tempting for Liverpool to accept.
As aforementioned, there are areas of this Liverpool team that require strengthening, too, especially at the base of the team. Van Dijk would potentially make a massive difference.
Still, it would be a surprise to see the Reds sell in January. They were so stubborn in their resolve during the summer months with a view to keeping Coutinho on board for this campaign. With plenty to fight for in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, letting one of their key players move on would be detrimental to the club.
Iker Casillas Rumours Rubbished
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The agent for Porto goalkeeper and reported Liverpool target Iker Casillas has dismissed speculation he is on his way out of the club.
According to El Pais (h/t the Daily Mirror), the Reds and Newcastle United were considering a move for the legendary stopper, who has recently been benched at Porto. But speaking about the exit rumours, Carlo Cutropia told Radio Renascenca (h/t Robin Bairner of Goal) the 36-year-old is going nowhere.
“Of the crazy stuff I have seen, this is the craziest,” he said. “It is crazy and there is no truth in it. Casillas is calm and happy at Porto and he wants to play, logically, just like any footballer. … I am reading many things in the press, everything is false, and it leaves me surprised, and that is it.”
Casillas joined Porto in 2015 and, despite a slow start to life at the club, was setting higher standards prior to his relegation to the bench. As noted by journalist Tom Kundert, manager Sergio Conceicao has not been pleased with his attitude:
Tom Kundert @PortuGoal1
Porto coach Sérgio Conceição says Iker Casillas has been dropped from Porto’s latest games because of lack of application in training. https://t.co/nuAr4KRFyU
Liverpool do have problems in goal, with Simon Mignolet erratic and Loris Karius still yet to convince. A consistent and experienced stopper would potentially boost a shaky Reds defence.
Casillas, a World Cup winner with Spain and three-time UEFA Champions League winner with Real Madrid, would be a fine short-term option. But, according to Cutropia, the prospect of a move to the Premier League appears unlikely.