Liverpool fly out to Italy to negotiate Coutinho transfer

A Liverpool delegation flew out to Italy on Wednesday to negotiate the transfer of Inter playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

The Anfield officials, led by managing director Ian Ayre, are hopeful of agreeing a deal for the 20-year-old Brazilian.

But they face competition from Southampton, who have also declared an interest in capturing Coutinho.

Liverpool had a bid of around €7.7 million rejected for Coutinho last week but are confident an improved offer will be accepted by the Serie A giants.

Inter have placed a valuation of €11-13m on the attacking midfielder, who has played a single full international for Brazil.

Coutinho’s public stance is that he is happy to stay at Inter but Liverpool have been given encouragement that a deal is possible this month, given the state of finances at the Italian club.

The player signed for Inter from Vasco da Gama when he was 16, though he spent a further two years at the Brazilian club before moving to Italy. Coutinho had a productive spell on loan at Espanyol in the second half of last season before returning in the summer to Inter.

Despite starting only three of the club’s Serie A matches this season – and making 10 league appearances in total – Coutinho is regarded as an emerging star.

Speaking to Sky Italia earlier this week about Liverpool’s interest, he said: “The Liverpool offer? I’m happy with these offers, because it means I am doing my job well.

“But I think Inter have faith in me and I want to show my value here. I don’t feel that I’m on my way out. I hope to stay at Inter.

The young players feel the faith of the coach and of the club.”

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