Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona: Gary Lineker insists transfer will be hard to turn down

Philippe Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona and has handed in a transfer request to leave the Reds amid the interest. 

The formal transfer request came via email after the owners of the club released a statement insisting that the 25-year-old would not be leaving during this transfer window. 

Speaking on talkSPORT, BBC and BT presenter Lineker had his say on the saga, admitting it would be difficult for Liverpool star to stay at the club. 

He said: “As a player, it’s very difficult to turn down Barcelona or Real Madrid.

“They have always been the places the greats navigate to or even some of them who weren’t so great in the past.

“They are still the big clubs.”

Lineker insisted that if Liverpool hold onto Coutinho, they could end up having a player who doesn’t want to be there. 

He added: “Coutinho signed a new contract not that long ago and he apparently hasn’t got a buy-out clause. 

“Liverpool could be strong, but then they could end up with a grumpy player that doesn’t really want to commit for them.

“Plus, some are saying, ‘well he gets injured quite a bit anyway so why not take £90m for him?’

“Liverpool will desperately want to keep him because it’s not money in the bank you want, it’s players on the pitch.

“But the draw of Barcelona is a big one.”

A family member of Coutinho was quoted as telling Sky Sports: “Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution but to no avail.

“He has tremendous love for the club and fans but as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms.”

The player is understood to have sent an email to the Liverpool director after training today, telling Michael Edwards that he wanted to leave the club. 

A statement from the club earlier, read: “We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho.

“The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”

Klopp followed that up with: “I think when somebody like FSG says it then that’s the statement.

“I think I’ve already said it a few times but maybe that’s not 100 per cent clear.”

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