Liverpool round-up: Coutinho won't be sold until 2018; Van Dijk move in January; visa costs to be paid
Barcelona have given up in their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho, according to Catalan newspaper Sport. The Brazilian has pushed for a move since mid-August, but has been unsuccessful in persuading the Reds to sell him. Despite a supposed back injury, he returned to action for Brazil on Thursday night, scoring against Ecuador.
However, Sport do also report that Barcelona are confident that they can reach an agreement to sign the playmaker in 12 months time. They feel that a deal similar to that which will take Naby Keita to Anfield could be reached, meaning that Coutinho would head to Spain after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Another player who was not on the move despite a transfer request was Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk. The Times believe that Liverpool will return with another move for the Dutch international, either in January or next summer, and that he remains a top target for the Reds.
Van Dijk reportedly had his heart set on a move to Merseyside, but Liverpool were forced to withdraw their interest after allegations of tapping up from Southampton. Now, that has cost Jurgen Klopp a potential addition and one of the Premier League’s best defenders in the process.
In news that will please fans, Liverpool have confirmed on their club website that they will cover the £118 cost of a visa to travel to Moscow to watch Liverpool on their return to the Champions League against CSKA Moscow. An allocation of over 2,000 tickets has been given to the club.
The move will likely cost the Reds a total around £250,000 in a generous move. It will undoubtedly encourage more fans to make the trek across Europe to Russia, with a rush on tickets expected as Liverpool fans seek to witness their side returning to the highest level of European football, even if their destination may not be the most glamorous.