If you are a Liverpool supporter, there’s a fair chance you spent most of yesterday on the WebMD site educating yourself about foot and ankle injuries. Because of this.
If you’re also a glass-half-full kind of person, one possible silver lining, if there is one (there isn’t one, really), to the prospect of a prolonged Philippe Coutinho absence is that you are almost certainly guaranteed not to hear any more Coutinho-to-Barcelona rumors for a while. At least a week, if you’re lucky.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, the rumor mill demands a sacrificial lamb from each club, unless of course you are one of the select few clubs blessed with seemingly bottomless coffers and checkbooks that never need re-ordering. Paris Saint-Germain F.C. are such a club, and in the absence of Coutinho news, the rumor mill has seen fit to link Liverpool’s in-form midfielder Adam Lallana with the Ligue 1 heavyweights.
The purported rationale for the interest in Lallana is attributed to the fact that PSG, who are the current defending champions in France (and seemingly have been defending champions for ages), are in a bit of a crisis at the moment. With PSG’s recent history, however, “crisis” just means that the club shockingly haven’t sewn up the title yet in November. Instead, Unai Emery’s side are in third - third! - place, with a chance to go level with leaders Monaco on points if they win their weekend matchup against Lyon. Dire straits indeed.
Lallana, for his part, has been a standout performer for his club this season, and was starting to show his class more consistently on the international stage, before picking up a knock during England’s recently match with Spain. Jürgen Klopp’s side is very much a collective force more so than it is reliant on any one individual, but Lallana’s absence in recent contests against Southampton and Sunderland has been noticeable. His speedy return will be key if Liverpool are to be without Coutinho for an extended period.
Add in a teaspoon of purported Patrick Kluivert enthusiasm around Lallana, and you have the recipe for a £40 million January bid from PSG for the midfielder’s services, coupled with an almost Rooney-esque wage offer of more than £200,000 a week. The prospect of Champions League football would be the icing on the cake. You might not be able to saunter into a McDonald’s and automatically blurt out “quarter pounder with cheese” any more, but those wages probably take the sting out of that loss.
Liverpool supporters can at least take heart in the fact that this particular rumor doesn’t come from the most reputable of sources, and can also trust that the club’s management are keenly aware of Lallana’s importance to making a breakthrough this season. £40 million is certainly more than what Liverpool paid their usual suppliers Southampton for Lallana’s services, but one would suspect that the starting bid would have to be much higher to even tickle Liverpool’s resolve here.
Never say never, but for now the only French connection Lallana is likely to have is this one.