PSG face fight to sign Coutinho as Liverpool set to hold firm

The Ligue 1 champions are willing to offer around £45 million for the Brazilian, but anticipate facing a brick wall as the Reds are disinclined sellers

Liverpool are expected to bat away any approaches for Philippe Coutinho this summer as Jurgen Klopp plans to build his first full campaign at the helm around the club’s Player of the Season, Goal understands.

Paris Saint-Germain have made advances to the Brazil international’s camp as they plan another massive outlay in the transfer market. He fits the creative profile they are looking for and is on the Ligue 1 champions’ list of targets ahead of 2016-17. 

It is understood Coutinho is not a priority, though, with Alexis Sanchez and Antoine Griezmann their main objectives currently.

No official approach has been made to the Reds yet, but PSG would be open to offering around £45 million for the playmaker. 

However, they anticipate hitting a brick wall.

Coutinho, who signed a new five-year deal with the Reds in February, has given the club no indication he wants to move on. The 23-year-old is happy on Merseyside and his young family are settled in the city. 

Liverpool, similarly, have no designs on letting him depart. Klopp has referred to Coutinho as “a genius of a player” and the Rio-born star, bought for just £8.5m from Inter in January 2013, is one of the German’s genuine match winners.

He cleaned up at the club’s end of season awards, winning four accolades – the same total at the end of 2014-15, when former captain Steven Gerrard said: “I’m privileged to share a dressing room with him. He’s the next big thing for me.

“I hope he stays here for a long time and can help the club win more trophies.”

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Liverpool hold the same wish and would be loathe to lose another one of their premier players for a third season running. 

Luis Suarez left for Barcelona in the summer of 2014, with Raheem Sterling recruited by Manchester City a year later, when Steven Gerrard also exited to LA Galaxy. 

The club do not need to sell to buy, and are set to hold firm on Coutinho.

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