Transfer deadline day passed in England last Thursday with Philippe Coutinho still at the club and, with no potential replacement for the star midfielder having arrived, Liverpool fans on the whole were relaxed heading into Friday despite the fact the transfer window ran a day longer in Spain.
But it meant that, at least in theory, Liverpool could still sell the player. And despite the club’s insistence all along that they weren’t going to, inevitably stories about a potential deal emerged from Spain—including ones suggesting Liverpool had told Barcelona they were willing to sell, but only for €200M.
It was a lie, and one Barcelona’s representatives repeated a day later when forced to address what had been a disastrous window for the Catalan club, one when they not only didn’t get in the players they needed but also saw their hard-earned reputation take a number of significant, heavy hits.
But it may not have been a lie that came from nowhere, as today there are new claims, ones that say the club at least didn’t pull the idea of a €200M asking price out of the air. Instead, they were given it by Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, who as the window neared its end still insisted a deal was possible.
It wasn’t, and that the mooted figure came from Coutinho’s agent doesn’t actually make Barcelona’s suggestions Liverpool had put that fee to them as a price at which they would sell any less of a lie. Plus there’s a chance blaming Joorabchian now is nothing more than further Catalan misdirection.
While clubs and agents regularly brief journalists for any number of reasons, Barcelona went past that this summer, briefing the local press a deal was done and the player was set to be announced time and time again, lying either to cover their other failings or try to force the deal through by making it seem inevitable.
That the Catalan press—and outlets that help to set opinion concerning Barcelona from further afield—swallowed those lies time and time again with little in the way of protest reflects badly on them, and that now a few are claiming offence at being lied to is worth little more than incredulous disdain.
And so with that in mind, it’s certainly possible this is just one more lie; one more attempt by Barcelona the club to cast themselves as high-minded victims, a club who tried their best to bring in a star who wanted to come only to have their efforts undermined by dastardly agents and a selfish Liverpool.
Or it’s possible it’s true and Joorabchain was in there on Friday, after the window had closed in England, still trying to get a deal done; trying to convince Barcelona a final €200M offer would work. If he thought it would, or that Barcelona could afford to pay it, it doesn’t speak well to his talents as an agent.
In the case where this latest tidbit of news is true, it’s one more piece of bad advice from Coutinho’s representative—and perhaps one more good reason the player might use if he does decide to fire Joorabchain now as a way of rebuilding a few of the bridges he burned down trying to force his way out of Liverpool.