(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said midfielder Philippe Coutinho would not be sold at any price, as British media reported the club had rejected a second bid worth 100 million euros ($117 million) from Barcelona.
Barcelona had already been rebuffed last month in an 80 million euro bid for the 25-year-old, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for 8.5 million pounds ($11 million) in 2013.
The 24-time Spanish league champions increased the offer to 85 million euros plus 15 million in add-ons but Liverpool have rejected the second bid, maintaining their stance that the player is not for sale, according to the reports.
“Liverpool is not a club that has to sell players. That is set in stone. So what they offer in the end doesn’t matter,” Sky Germany quoted Klopp as saying.
“From a financial standpoint, there is no price limit to let him go. No price at which we are ready to give in. Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan.”
The Merseyside club’s position on the Brazil international, who was a key player in Klopp’s squad last campaign, is boosted by Coutinho’s signing of a new five-year contract last season.
Media reports indicate that Barcelona are targeting Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele as replacements for Brazil forward Neymar, who joined Paris St Germain last week for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros.
While Spanish media have suggested that a deal for Coutinho’s move to Barcelona was close to completion, British media say Liverpool have not and will not make any plans to discuss the player’s future with the Catalan club.
($1 = 0.8526 euros, 0.7708 pounds)
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien