Liverpool should already have Coutinho replacements lined up, says Joey Barton

Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2017 by

Liverpool should already have Coutinho replacements lined up, says Joey Barton

Joey Barton believes that Liverpool should have been better prepared with replacements for Philippe Coutinho, and that the Brazilian's departure is not a matter of if – but when.

Despite the news that Liverpool have rejected all three bids made by Barcelona for the midfielder, with the latest being that he is set to stay at Anfield, Barton thinks that Jurgen Klopp's side should have been more ready with alternatives to Coutinho. The ex-QPR midfielder believes that a Coutinho exit is inevitable, and that Liverpool should have seen this coming.

"Liverpool should have pre-empted this," said Barton to talkSPORT. "They should have known a big club was going to come sniffing for him and, although he's difficult to replace, they should have had replacements lined up for him."

"He [Coutinho] wants out, and if you're getting up to what are they now, almost £120m, it just looks like how much rather than if or when."

Liverpool have reiterated that their star midfielder is not for sale, believing that there would be no time to find a suitable replacement with less than two weeks to go before the end of the transfer window. Following the disappointment in not being able to secure the services of Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk, Klopp has struggled to sign as many players as he would have hoped – and maintains that finding a just replacement for Coutinho to match his skill and ability is impossible.

Barcelona's most recent bid of £114 for the 25-year-old went rejected by the Anfield bosses. Despite Liverpool's adamance that Coutinho will not leave the club this summer, Barton thinks that Klopp must already accept what is already obvious to him – that the midfielder was always destined to go to Camp Nou.

"He's not a Scouser, he's a Brazilian. He's already living a fair distance away from home and he's probably grown up wanting to play for Barcelona," continued Barton.

"No disrespect to Liverpool, but that's the club Brazilian youngsters grow up wanting to play for nowadays. It's not the Liverpool of the 80s, it's Liverpool who haven't won a title for over 20 years, so you can't blame the boy.

"As I said, it's just a case of how much and at what moment he goes."

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