Premier League outfit Southampton have emerged as a shock contender for Philippe Coutinho and are looking to snatch the deal from Liverpool’s nose after having their bid accepted by Serie A giants Inter Milan.
The Saints have offered £10.2 million for the midfielder and are looking to leapfrog Liverpool in the race to sign him.
Liverpool initially offered £5 million for the Brazilian but was rebuffed with immediate effect. According to reports from The Times, the Reds have submitted an improved bid of £8 million for the 20-year-old.
It is to be seen whether Liverpool will match Southampton’s package or not in order to bring him to the Merseyside, though the player’s preference is to move to Anfield.
Another problem that needs solving is the player’s work permit. Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spoke in length with Inter Milan’s officials on Tuesday and is pretty much confident of landing the target.
The Reds have already captured Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea for a reported fee of £12 million, who has made a huge impact at the club already, scoring three goals in his first three matches, equalling the record of club legend Ray Kennedy.
Meanwhile, La Liga giants Barcelona are targeting 30-year-old Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina to replace the departing Victor Valdes, who could join Manchester United. However, the Reds are more serious about bringing in Philippe Coutinho than scouting any goalkeeper at the moment.
Liverpool are also looking to wrap up a deal for Blackpool’s Tom Ince but both the clubs are far apart with their valuations. The Reds value the player at £6 million and are entitled to pay 35% of any resale value, so the price drops to only £4 million while the English Championship side are reluctant to sale the player for less than £8 million.