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Good News for Liverpool in Coutinho Race

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In superb form for club and country, Philippe Coutinho is a wanted man - but reports suggest Liverpool hold all the aces.

Brazil Training Session and Press Conference - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

As Liverpool supporters know very well, all sorts of terrible things flit through the imagination during an international break. Among the nightmares keeping the Anfield faithful awake at night, the prospect of losing Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona (which we recently discussed) must be somewhere near the top of the list, right next to Charlie Adam replacing Andreas Kornmayer as Head of Fitness. Not exactly helpful then, that Coutinho decided to use Brazil’s recent match against Argentina to do that thing he does, prompting Barcelona star Neymar to state that: “[w]e’ve been mates for years, and each day I think we’re made to play with each other more.” Come on, man.

But wait: all is not quite lost, Liverpool supporters (at least, not yet). Paul Joyce of the London Times - a solid source in all things Liverpool related - has indicated that the Merseyside club are in firm control over the Brazilian’s future over the near term. The main reason for the club’s confidence, according to Joyce? The absence of a release clause - crucial in the Luis Suarez transfer saga - among the provisions of Coutinho’s current contract, which runs through 2020. Without such a clause, Barcelona will know that they will have to pay a substantial premium if they want to even initiate discussions in the near future.

Money is not always the sole consideration, however, and sometimes a player’s desire or dissatisfaction can force a club’s hand. On this front as well, there at least appears to be good news for Liverpool supporters, provided you’re willing to believe anything you see on the Internet.* According to certain Twitter outlets, Coutinho’s Brazil teammate Marcelo broached the topic of joining Real Madrid one day, to which the diminutive midfielder reportedly replied “Klopp gives me confidence, I feel at home.”

My eyes definitely watered slightly writing that. Joking aside, it’s clear that manager Jürgen Klopp prizes Coutinho’s presence, and that the admiration is at least somewhat mutual. Liverpool supporters know, however, that nothing lasts forever, so we should enjoy the magician’s wizardry while we can.

*Also, aliens built the Pyramids.