Just two weeks remain for the transfer window to shut, and Liverpool are sweating on the possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona. The Brazilian has made life difficult for his current club after handing in a transfer request as well.
Despite all these, Liverpool are keen to play hardball against Barcelona. The Spanish side had earlier seen their two offers being ignored by the club, and a third one looks inevitable after Coutinho deciding to take matter into his own hands by making that request.
This must not have gone well with anyone from the Liverpool management, especially as that shocking decision came a few hours after the club owners FSG released an official statement about their desire not to sell Coutinho at any price.
Liverpool are left in a difficult situation. What irks them is the timing of Coutinho's request as they do not have much time left to look for his replacement. Liverpool officials and manager Jurgen Klopp had earlier told him he would not be sold in the summer as well.
However, they seem to have come up with a decent plan.
The Reds, if they sell Coutinho, will be looking at Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, reports Diario Gol. This can be a huge signing for Liverpool.
Though it parting ways with Coutinho will be a huge loss, the cash-plus-player might be the best possible option for the club. Reports also suggest that the Croatian international might be considering leaving Barcelona, which could open doors for a move to Liverpool.
If you remove Coutinho from the current set-up of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp does not have another quality playmaker. Though Roberto Firmino, who plays as number nine, can take up Coutinho's role, Klopp has hardly used him in that number 10 role.
So in all likelyhood if Klopp finally decides to part ways with Coutinho, Rakitic seems to be the best option available. The player can immediately walk into the starting XI, and strengthen Liverpool with his masterly skills.
The countdown for the transfer window has begun.