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Iniesta and Rakitić Not Interested in Coutinho

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Self-preservation might prove Liverpool’s greatest ally in the battle to keep the Brazilian.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Final Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

So, hey, it’s been about, oh, I dunno, five hours since the last rumour regarding Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona and €150m but not really and the unrelenting ennui of it all, so we figured it was time you lot had another one. Will the money be right? Will the source be reliable? Will the whole thing be scuppered by Andres Iniesta wait what?

Yes, apparently — according to Diario Gol — Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitić are among the current Barcelona players who are less than enthusiastic about the Catalan club’s hunt for Liverpool’s Brazilian playmaker. So much so, that they are supposedly leading a rebellion against the Barca brass.

Now, Spanish is a poetic language, and one embedded with embellishment, so the Barcelona midfielders’ resistance to the signing of the Reds’ crown jewel is likely more refusing to take your medicine than it is blowing up the Death Star, but their reasoning is relatively sound. Rakitić is already under pressure from the next generation of Blaugranes ballers and is unlikely to welcome more competition, while Iniesta has faith in said ballers to continue the club’s legacy sans record signings.

Now, whether the duo is right in their assessment is up for debate — most would argue that André Gomes, Denis Suárez and Gerard Deulofeu are vastly inferior to Coutinho — but one can see their point of view. With Rakitić signing a new long-term deal this spring and Iniesta handed a lifetime contract just weeks ago, both players look set to be fixtures in and around the first team for years to come, and as such, are invested in the intersectional spheres of the club’s and their personal success.

None of which will matter unless the Barcelona board can muster up the commitment to put forth a bid that will pique Liverpool’s interest. Which, given the ubiquitous presence of column inches and strictly hypothetical nature of any giant stacks of cash, seems entirely unlikely.