Bellamy: Impossible for Liverpool to cease Coutinho joining Barca
Former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy conceded it truly is “nigh-on impossible” for Philippe Coutinho to remain an Anfield as Barcelona push to sign the Brazilian star.
LaLiga giants Barca reportedly had a second bid – within the region of ￡90million – for Coutinho rejected by Liverpool, who stay defiant in their stance of maintaining the 25-year-old attacker.
Barca are looking for a replacement for Neymar right after his world-record €222million move to Paris Saint-Germain and countryman Coutinho is tipped to fill the void.
Ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Watford on Saturday, Bellamy said it is as well tough to turn down Barca.
“Liverpool are going to remain firm,” Bellamy told Sky Sports. “But it’s still early within the transfer window, and how long can they keep firm for?
“No supporter desires to hear this, everybody thinks their group would be the biggest, and rightly so, but this can be Barcelona. If they come calling, it is really hard for players to turn down.
“This is Coutinho, who has the opportunity to play with Lionel Messi, the most effective player to play football, to visit among the best clubs in football. How can you look him in the eyes and tell him this isn’t an enhance him? To tell him this is not what you deserve?
“This is definitely the difference. With Liverpool you have got the likelihood of competing within the Champions League with Liverpool, or there’s a likelihood of realistically going to win the Champions League with Barcelona. It is nigh-on impossible to turn them down.”
Former Manchester United defender and Everton captain Phil Neville added: “It’s taking place, it is going to occur is not it? But it really is just about how much they will get.
“I feel he’ll want it now. It really is Barcelona; after they come, you go. I believe he’s excellent enough for Barcelona, he has the characteristics, talent and method to fit in there.
“But did they miss him that considerably when he was out injured? I know he scored 14 goals but if they got ￡100m, reinvested and bought an individual, say Diego Costa, I believe that would give them a superior likelihood of winning the league than having Coutinho in the side.”