FC Barcelona have reportedly made a bid for Philippe Coutinho which would see the Liverpool star shake-up the top 10 of football’s most expensive players ever.
The Daily Mail claim that the La Liga giants have tabled an offer of €80m (£72m).
Based on a recent list of transfer fees published by GOAL.com, that figure is €25m below the world-record fee Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer.
However, it is high enough that Coutinho’s potential move would tie with James Rodriguez’s 2014 switch from Monaco to Real Madrid as the joint-eighth richest transfer of all time.
Liverpool have not yet responded to Barca’s bid, according to The Mail, although the newspaper suggests it will most likely be rejected.
The same publication reports that Coutinho has been identified by Barca as their desired replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, who is about to begin what is expected to be his final season at the Camp Nou.
Coutinho would hardly be a like-for-like swap for Iniesta, though, with the 33-year-old Spaniard known for his incredible vision and metronomic passing, unlike the Brazilian, who is more explosive and direct.
Twenty-five-year-old Coutinho would arguably be a better replacement for PSG target Neymar, but The Mail insists that Barca’s interest in the Reds playmaker is not linked with the Paris club’s £196m efforts to land the former Santos man.
Current top 10 most expensive transfers, as reported by GOAL
|1||Paul Pogba||Juventus – Manchester United||2016||€105m|
|2||Gareth Bale||Tottenham – Real Madrid||2013||€100.8m|
|3||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United – Real Madrid||2009||€94m|
|4||Gonzalo Higuain||Napoli – Juventus||2016||€90m|
|5||Neymar||Santos – Barcelona||2013||€86.2m|
|6||Romelu Lukaku||Everton – Manchester United||2017||€84.8m|
|7||Luis Suarez||Liverpool – Barcelona||2014||€82.3m|
|8||James Rodriguez||Monaco – Real Madrid||2014||€80m|
|9||Zinedine Zidane||Juventus – Real Madrid||2001||€77.5m|
|10||Kevin De Bruyne||Wolfsburg – Manchester City||2015||€75m|