According to reports Liverpool are prepared to increase their offer for Inter Milan youngster Philippe Coutinho.
The Guardian reports that Liverpool are targeting the 20-year-old Brazilian to help bolster their attacking line-up as they continue their march up the Premier League table under Brendan Rodgers.
Coutinho has himself responded to speculation the Reds are interested in signing him.
“The Liverpool offer? I'm happy with these offers, because it means I am doing my job well," he said.
However, he also took the opportunity to dismiss suggestions that he will leave Milan where he insists he is happy to challenge for his place in Andrea Stramaccioni’s team.
"But I think Inter have faith in me and I want to show my value here. I don't feel that I'm on my way out. I hope to stay at Inter. The young players feel the faith of the coach and of the club.”
The Brazilian has made just 5 appearances for Inter in Serie A this season and has scored one goal. Rumours have surfaced since Liverpool made an initial offer widely reported in the region of £8 million.
Managing director of Liverpool FC Ian Ayre has travelled to Italy with hopes of securing the youngster’s services imminently. Inter Milan have underachieved in recent seasons since the departure of Jose Mourinho in 2010 after the Portuguese manager steered them to winning the Champion’s League, the Coppa Italia and the Serie A title.
Since then they finished 2nd in the league in 2010/11 and 6th place last season. Coutinho has made just one appearance for the Brazilian national team and will be looking to improve his playing opportunities in the run up to the World Cup held in Brazil next year.
He could be tempted away from the San Siro by the prospect of regular first-team football. Liverpool currently sit in 7th place in the Premier League, 7 points off the top four and Coutinho could be just the acquisition Rodgers requires to put more pressure on the teams above the Reds.
He is regarded, however, as the ‘future of Inter’, as he was recently described by his club’s president Massimo Moratti. He is gifted with exception technical skill, electric pace, and versatility. He began his career as a forward back at Vasco da Gama in Brazil but has since been converted into a playmaker in Inter’s midfield.