Reports linking Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona are rife and the Reds may be left with no choice than to accept the Catalan’s club’s bid for him.
However, Argentine star Manuel Lanzini has been identified as the player that can step into the big boosts of Coutinho but West Ham boss SLAVEN BILIC has ruled out a move for the star, according to report.
Coutinho has been subject of colossal €130million (£118m) bid from Barcelona but the Reds have refused to let their guards down in holding on to the player. Barcelona are believed to willing to return with an improve offer for the star which Liverpool might be able to resist.
Liverpool have continued to be linked with a move for Lanzini but they may have to turn they attention elsewhere for a replacement if Coutinho is eventually sold. Bilic has reiterated his desire to keep Lanzini regardless of the outcome of Coutinho’s transfer saga.
Bilic said: “Max [Fitzgerald, the press officer] emails me these stories straight away to shock me a bit.
“We spoke about this before Manchester United, I speak to Manu every day, he is happy.
“He feels at home, he feels liked. You can see it, you don’t have to talk to him, and you can see by how he is smiling and is happy. He broke into the Argentina national team. So he knows if he plays for West Ham he has a chance of getting a better contract with West Ham and playing for Argentina.”
Lanzini plays with similar flair exhibited by Coutinho and even though he has not bee adjudged the best midfielder in the league, he’s certainly not the worse either. There are claims that there’s a huge £100m price tag on him, but Bilic has dismissed it as untrue.
He said: “No I am sure he is going to stay with us. He knows he is wanted, the chairman and the board, he was on loan, and we took an option before we had to.
“He was voted the players player of the year, makes you feel wanted. He likes it here.”
West Ham do not want to sell the star midfielder, money has ruled the transfer window and the Hammers may not be able to resist a huge offer for the star.