Way back in the days of the 2000s, it felt like every summer had Liverpool linked with a move to bring Michael Owen back to Anfield. It never happened.
A few years later, there were numerous rumours about a return to the club for Xabi Alonso. This also never happened.
So here we are, in July 2019, talking about Liverpool supposedly bringing Philippe Coutinho “home”. Allow us to be sceptical.
There are a few aspects to this. The first involves Coutinho’s representative (don’t say agent) Kia Joorabchian talking of the Brazilian playmaker’s supposed affection for the club. “I think Liverpool lies very, very deeply in his heart,” Sky Sports reported Joorabchian as saying. “He was a big fan of them throughout the campaign [last season].
”He was wishing for them to win the title and he has a very strong affinity there so I think it will be very difficult for him to go to a direct competitor of Liverpool from a personal standpoint.”
Now, if you only read the story on Twitter, you probably thought that’s all Joorabchian had to say. But in the very same interview, the not-agent adds that Barcelona president Josep “Bartomeu and other directors, and they told us he was absolutely not for sale, that they have never spoken about the boy leaving, that they had never offered him to any club”. This has been conveniently left out by some trying to tell a tall tale of Coutinho’s return.
The other aspect is that Barcelona are apparently in such vast sums of debt, with the financials such a mess that they still haven’t paid the money they owe Liverpool for Coutinho in full. Perhaps this could be written off in a deal involving the player returning to Anfield, some have said. That this entire report comes from a Barcelona blog called Culémania and not a more familiar source apparently raised no suspicion. Everyone wants the big return story.
There is so little to this that it’s astonishing to me it’s become such a thing. But here we are, it’s July and people need transfer rumours. So thanks for giving me an article to write about today, I suppose.