Just when it looked like it was safe to forget about Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona talk, at least until a little closer to next summer, the Catalan press are back on their bullshit. They could be lying on their own, spinning falsehoods for a good story. Or they could be unwittingly lying on behalf of the club. Either way adds up the same.
Either way adds up to Sport claiming a deal could now be done in January. It can’t and won’t be. When Liverpool put their foot down, held on to Coutinho, and refused to negotiate, it was with an eye to at least the entirety of 2017-18 . Sport, though, insist a mid-season deal is possible. Due in part to the recent loss to Manchester City.
That loss is part of why City today stand five points ahead of the Reds in the league table. Which has Sport declaring a Liverpool title challenge this season done. Which in turn means Coutinho might be sold. It’s a claim that doesn’t hold up to even the most superficial scrutiny, but that’s hardly unusual for a Sport story about Coutinho.
The Catalan club’s mouthpiece has spent nearly three months now churning out falsehoods in an attempt to further Barcelona’s agenda, and that Liverpool’s Michael Edwards addressed in emails to the club last summer when he asked them to “stop harassing Coutinho publicly and privately.” That didn’t stop them then. Or now.
Clearly. As now they’re claiming a deal could be on, maybe even in January. They’re claiming Coutinho is again pushing for a move behind the scenes. And they’re claiming that, for reasons unexplained bar pointing in the direction of that five-point gap to City in first, Liverpool are now open to negotiating Coutinho’s sale. So it goes.
Most gallingly, perhaps, Sport claim Liverpool are now willing to negotiate an “acceptable” transfer price after a summer in which Barcelona refused to offer anything like market value for a player they so desperately wanted, relying on press agitation and tapping up the player in an attempt to land him for a cut-rate fee.
Despite headline talk of big offers, the real money value of the actual bids was insulting, and when stripped of unachievable add-ons and accounting for deferred payments would have been considered worth less than £80M by Liverpool’s money men. For all Barcelona wanted Coutinho, they never came close to “acceptable.”
Coutinho won’t be sold in January. If he is eventually sold next summer, it will be on Barcelona to make an acceptable offer—not on Liverpool to accept an unreasonable one. No amount of spin from the disingenuous Catalan press, either for a good story or for the sake of their contacts at the club, will change that.