After Liverpool turned down Barcelona’s third big-money bid for wantaway Philippe Coutinho, the Spanish club are reported to have issued a bizarre ultimatum.
The Liga giants made their latest offer for the Brazilian on Friday afternoon, approaching the Reds with a package worth up to a potential £114 million – but only £82.2 million of that was the initial fee, and that was to spread over five years.
So Liverpool would have received just over £16 million this summer, despite Barca receiving the payment for Neymar in full from PSG.
Fenway Sports Group have no intention of selling Coutinho this summer, despite the midfielder handing in a transfer request last week.
Their stance, and the fact Coutinho signed a new five-year contract in January, has put Barcelona in a weak position in terms of negotiations.
The Catalan club are said to have informed Liverpool that they have until Sunday evening to change their mind or it will be withdrawn, Joyce reports.
“In other words, a bid Liverpool have twice told Barcelona not to make is instantly rebuffed and their rivals’ next move is to threaten to take it off the table.”
This serves to highlight just how out of touch Barcelona have been in this summer’s transfer market, with the Liga side crumbling following Neymar’s £198 million move to PSG.
They have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to sign both Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, while their business elsewhere has been largely uninspiring.
For Barcelona to expect Liverpool to baulk at their ultimatum is farcical, and suggests they are not even aware of the position they find themselves in heading into 2017/18.
Liverpool are not set to part ways with their No. 10, and his suitors now look likely to withdraw their interest and turn their focus elsewhere.
Meanwhile, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson has issued an ultimatum to Margot Robbie that she has until Sunday evening to accept his proposal.