Liverpool have exercised their right of first refusal on former attacker Philippe Coutinho, per reports. The Brazilian international is likely to be sold by Barcelona this summer to free up funds for new arrivals. However, Liverpool are unlikely to execute the option.

Coutinho who became Liverpool’s record sale in January 2018 has failed to live up to expectations in Barcelona. He is one of the most expensive footballers of all time when he signed for the Catalan giant in a deal worth up to €140m, including bonuses.

​Liverpool have gone from strength to strength since the Brazilian left. Coutinho’s stock has nosedived in the last two years, as he has struggled to establish himself at Camp Nou. The Brazilian international has impressed sporadically at ​Bayern Munich on loan this season. The Bravarian are known to be ​unlikely to take up their purchase option.

Barca have set Argentine ace Lautaro Martinez and Neymar as their summer ​transfer targets. Barca will need to sell as many players as possible to facilitate either deal and are desperate to offload Coutinho the most.

According to 90min, Liverpool have ​already received most of the payout from the initial transfer to Barcelona including bonuses, still they have first refusal on Coutinho.

Coutinho, 27, scored 54 times in 201 appearances for the Reds between 2012 and 2018. He is a fan favourite and some of the fans still want him at Anfield. Former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrad, stated that Coutinho cannot turn a bad player overnight. He also admitted that Coutinho still has the magic and the club shout exercise the first refusal option.

However, Jürgen Klopp’s side have little appetite for a spectacular Coutinho return, with big-money marquee deals not likely in the upcoming transfer window.

Liverpool have other priorities this summer. The club has identified Timo Werner as a potential new arrival at the end of the season.