Klopp defends Liverpool transfer policy as top-four rivals spend big
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Liverpool may have found the perfect alternative to Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian apparently set to stay at Barcelona this summer. The Anfield club had hoped to re-sign their former midfielder.
Coutinho has been flirting with an exit from the Nou Camp all summer, with the Reds rumoured to be keen to broker a deal.
The 29-year-old moved to the Catalan giants from Liverpool in 2018 in a deal worth £121.5million.
Jurgen Klopp’s side faced a battle in any attempt to take the player back to Merseyside, with Tottenham and Arsenal apparently chasing the player.
It was even rumoured that Arsenal would be part of a swap deal to take either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette to Spain in exchange for Coutinho.
But any deal for the playmaker could be dead in the water, with reports suggesting he is now in the plans of Barca boss Ronald Koeman.
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Koeman was dealt a huge blow last week when his blockbuster star Lionel Messi departed the club.
Messi’s mega salary expectations meant Barca couldn’t fit him into their playing budget, even on significantly reduced terms.
Coutinho could be left to fill the void and there are even rumours that the player will be handed the number ten shirt following Messi’s exit.
If Liverpool do miss out on Coutinho, they may turn their attentions to Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.
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Aouar was part of the Lyon side which suffered a 3-0 defeat to Angers in Ligue 1 on Sunday – a result which apparently angered club bosses.
And the 23-year-old may now be available to sign for a reduced fee, according to Get French Football News.
Liverpool are in desperate need of midfield reinforcements, and Aouar could certainly offer Klopp’s team a calm presence in the middle of the pitch.
But the Anfield side will face huge competition to sign the Frenchman, with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham again circling as they look to solve their own midfield issues.
Arsenal were linked with Aouar last summer and it has now been reported that the Gunners and their north London rivals are already speaking to the player’s agent.
“Aouar is a player they (Arsenal) love,” Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano recently told The Arsenal Lounge.
“They like Aouar. They are still waiting to see what happens with Lyon.
“It is a completely different situation when they wanted the player last summer, but it was not easy to find an agreement with the player and Lyon at the end of the window.
“But now he could still be an opportunity for Arsenal and for Tottenham. They are both in contact with his agent.”
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