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26th Dec 2016

Liverpool set for insultingly low bid for Coutinho from PSG

Get real

Patrick McCarry

Paris Saint-Germain officials look at the Ligue 1 standings and see Mario Balotelli’s Nice at the top of the pile. Something needs to be done.

PSG are so used to dominating the French league that their form, this season, has come as somewhat of a shock. The Parisiens are in third place, five points off Nice at the league’s halfway mark.

Unai Emery is under pressure to get his team on a winning streak and, rather than sack him (yet), the PSG board are willing to spend.

That is why Julian Draxler seems set for a switch from Germany to France and why Philippe Coutinho has found his name linked with a move.

The Brazilian, who was signed by Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in 2012, will be subject to a January bid from PSG, according to The Daily Express.

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That the French giants are paying out a reported £38m for Draxler makes the planned bid of £40m for Coutinho derisory.

The 24-year-old has proved himself to be one of the Premier League’s best attacking talents. He began this season in flying form and helped Liverpool reach the top of the league before he damaged his ankle ligaments in a home win.

Before his injury, Coutinho had scored six goals and made five assists in 14 Liverpool appearances. He has also stepped forward for his national team, scoring three goals in three appearances in this season.

Although the Premier League may be operating in a slightly inflated market, it is worth remembering that Arsenal and Manchester City paid out a combined £85m for the respective signings of Shkodran Mustafi and John Stones.

The fact that PSG believe they can tempt Coutinho away from a Premier League title race to head off in pursuit of Nice, and pay Liverpool £40m in the process, is an insult. Liverpool would value the Brazilian a lot higher but PSG would be starting low and hoping to meet them in the middle.

The more likely option is that Coutinho will stay where he is until the end of the season, but there is also supposed to be firm interest from a side PSG will play in the Champions League knock-out stages – Barcelona.