Yes that sound you’ve been hearing for the past few weeks is in fact the infamous siren call of the twin La Liga giant vampire squids, Barcelona and Real Madrid, directing their attentions to the latest shiny prey. Like Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and countless others before them, once the cooing and wooing begins, it is usually only the linearity of time and/or faulty (sabotaged?) equipment that stops these two ultimate destinations in world football securing their target who had foolishly made the mistake of being really good.
And now, with the adoring eyes of the footballing world directed at our Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona forward Neymar has begun unabashedly courting his childhood friend while Luis Suarez has chipped in with the recruitment effort, prompting that familiar feeling of dread that has gripped Liverpool fans all too often in recent leaner years.
However, all is far from lost, as the counterpress, one of the (many, many) reasons Jürgen Klopp was brought to Merseyside, is finding application off the pitch in this PR war of attrition. From ‘sources’—that fickle, ever-flowing fountain of football knowledge—reaffirming Coutinho's loyalty to the Kop, to pointed counter transfer rumours, including even a plausible one for the out-of-favor Arda Turan (an avowed Liverpool fan), the evidence suggests that this time, Klopp won’t be letting go of his talisman without a fight. And now, an old confidant of Coutinho’s has added to the cause saying he thinks the Brazilian is happy where he is.
“Whenever we speak he always says that is very happy at Liverpool and his biggest challenge is to win the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool,” Vasco de Gama boss Rodney Goncalves, who was Coutinho’s manager before he left Brazil, assured the Anfield faithful. “There is pressure on him but it is not a problem. He plays at a big club and plays in the most important league in the world.”
The math says that the soonest Liverpool can once again lift the Champions League trophy is approximately 20 months and three full transfers windows from now. Take that, Florentino Perez.
Pulling the trick to tie O Mágico down past the next few transfer feeding frenzies would be a massive statement of intent and a big step towards achieving Klopp’s stated goal of shedding the ‘selling club’ label at Liverpool. Gird yourselves, FSG; as the poet definitely once said, we will not go quietly into the sale. Rage, rage!