Earlier this week, rumours surfaced linking Philippe Coutinho with a Barcelona move. It's a transfer that has been suggested in the past as something that could happen one day, but this rumour wasn't about one day—it was about January. Then Real Madrid got added to the mix.
Most Liverpool fans shrugged it off. Coutinho is clearly the club's best player, but he doesn't seem quite at the level yet to be Barcelona's statement of intent coming out of their transfer ban. Even if he was, no way would Liverpool be open to dealing him in January. Plus the £30M price tag seemed laughably low.
It all added up to a rumour that didn't do much to change the status quo for most Liverpool fans. Philippe Coutinho is a wonderful player, and if Liverpool can't keep pace with his talent and ambitions he will leave them one day. Depending on how the season goes for club and player, it could even be this summer.
But if that day does come it won't be in January, and it will be for more than £30M. Today, Coutinho's agent came out to rubbish the rumours, insisting that he signed a new deal with the club last year because of how happy he is at Liverpool, and that there has been no talk with Barcelona or Real Madrid behind the scenes.
"Philippe is extremely happy at Liverpool," agent Kia Joorabchian said when asked about the latest rumours. "He signed a long-term contract towards the end of last season that represents his ambition and his feeling for Liverpool. Reports that I have been talking to clubs about Philippe are not true.
"His aspirations are to qualify for the Champions League with Liverpool this season and to win a trophy. That is all that he is focused on—nothing else."
Coutinho was sent home from the Brazil camp this week after he picked up a knock in training. The nature and severity of the injury has not yet been made public.