Defender to leave club; Barcelona to bid £107m for Philippe Coutinho

Afternoon Bulletin

Defender reiterates desire to leave club

Having returned from their pre-season training camp in France, Southampton hope that a meeting with want-away star Virgil van Dijk would lead to reconciliation but Virgil Van Dijk is still adamant he wants to join Liverpool this window despite the move breaking down several weeks ago. Van Dijk rejected any attempts to settle his differences with the club and insisted he will not play again for Southampton and wants a Liverpool transfer.

It is thought that the player could be convinced to commit one more season to the club and that he would re-join his teammates in training, giving new manager Mauricio Pellegrino a boost heading into the 2017-18 season. Van Dijk has not returned to first team training with the south coast side, and the local paper are now suggesting that he is still intent on pushing through a move.

The Southern Daily Echo have stated that Van Dijk has told his club there is “no change in his situation, leading the club to inform him that they are also standing firm”.

Barcelona to launch £107m bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona reportedly are preparing to launch a fresh bid of around £107million for Phillipe Coutinho. As Neymar closes in on a world-record £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Liverpool playmaker has emerged as one of the Catalan giants’ top priority targets this summer.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms on a move to the Nou Camp, so Barcelona just need to agree a fee with Liverpool.

However, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp repeatedly insisting that his star midfielder is absolutely not for sale this summer.

Speaking after his side’s friendly win over Bayern Munich, the German said: ‘I can understand that Coutinho is so highly rated, but they (Barcelona) can save their energy. There is no other way to interpret it – he is not available to be sold.’

Despite the recent focus on Coutinho, Mundo Deportivo and Sport have begun to admit that there are alternatives to him that Barcelona could go for. That list includes Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, PSG’s Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler, and even Monaco’s in demand Kylian Mbappe.