Liverpool are looking the likely losers in the race for Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho after being edged out by Southampton. The Daily Mail understands that the Saints have had their £10.2 million offer accepted by Inter forcing Liverpool to either increase their bid or concede defeat.
Coutinho has featured rather scarcely for Inter since joining from Vasco de Gama in 2008. He has been used as a bit-part player more often than not and spent last season on loan at Espanyol. The Brazil international has started only 3 league games this season but has expressed his desire to fight for his place in the team.
Liverpool have been keen to acquire his services but had their £6 million bid rejected by the Italians last week. However, negotiations have continued between the two clubs and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is hopeful to conclude the deal before the close of the transfer window.
The Reds have reportedly improved their offer to £8million but have been outbid by Southampton where new manager Maurico Pochettino wants a reunion with Coutinho after working with him at Espanyol. Liverpool have now been forced to either match Southampton’s price or concede defeat at the hands of the relegation strugglers with the player more closer to a move to St. Mary’s than to Anfield.