Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. Barcelona’s struggle to pry Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool doesn’t seem to have cowed them into moving right along. Nor has Liverpool’s insistence that the Brazilian is not for sale at any price stopped anyone associated with Barcelona from continuing the campaign to unsettle Coutinho.
The issue at this point was supposed to be moot after Barcelona had set an arbitrary and supremely shrug-inducing deadline for when they would take their ball that nobody wanted to play with and go home. That was earlier this week.
Since then somebody’s obviously had a chat with Barcelona defender and Steven Gerrard forehead double Gerard Pique about doing the odd bit of plate spinning to lure Coutinho further into their midst.
“I think players still want to join Barcelona,” said Pique. “And they are showing that is the case with Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
“One by putting in a transfer request and the other with his actions at Dortmund.
“It suggests that they are both delighted about the idea of coming. They want to come.
Two players that Barca have publicly courted and publicly urged to raise a ruckus at Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, respectively. Dembele has pitched a fit. Coutinho has at the very least given his tacit approval for this saga to blindside the team and supporters at the worst possible times. Pique doesn’t see it. The problem for Barcelona is that they’re victims. And it’s very sad.
“The problem is, we sold Ney and the clubs know we have the money from that. And the market is the way it is.
“I don’t think it’s because the players don’t want to come. They are keen to come to Barca. But right now signing whatever player the club wants, it seems to cost more.”
Strange how it seems that way. Also strange that Barcelona aren’t actually trying to pay more, instead focusing on merit badges and rewards for guessing the number of jellybeans in the jar.
This level of tapping up needs to be dealt with by the powers that be. Liverpool have had their problems with towing a respectful line in the past, as many clubs do, but this behavior from players, limelighting their club’s targets in the media, cannot stand. Should not stand.