Last week, news that PSG were prepared to offer Liverpool £45M for Philippe Coutinho had fans a little bit worried. The Ligue 1 big spenders might not be a traditional European power, and they may compete in a weak league, but they have money to burn and are increasingly serious contenders in Europe.
Still, with Coutinho still only 23, seemingly settled on Merseyside, and not yet the finished product, few were too worried. In a few years, if Barcelona or Real Madrid came calling, one could imagine Coutinho departing. The appeal of the Iberian giants for a player from South America is hard to deny. This year, though, and to PSG?
With Liverpool sending signals through connected journalists that they wouldn’t be interested in selling and the player sending signals that he wouldn’t push for a move, that seemed the end of it. Today, it isn’t, as Le 10 Sport—the paper that first talked up PSG’s interest—claim Barcelona are now also considering a move for Coutinho.
However, in the same breath they say that PSG are now only willing to start the bidding at £25M, a little more than half the £45M they said PSG was willing to pay for Coutinho last week and which Liverpool reportedly didn’t find at all appealing. It all makes it seem a bit of an attempt to keep spinning a story that has run out of steam.
And that’s without even asking how it is that Le 10 Sport would be the ones breaking Barcelona transfer news. Barcelona, to be fair, have been rumoured to be interested in Coutinho before. But that has always come with the suggestion that they’re mostly keeping an eye on him and that one day, when the time is right, they could bid.
Despite Coutinho’s talent and promise, this summer feels like it’s too soon. Barcelona are a club only interested in importing the finished product; proven superstars. Coutinho isn’t quite there yet. Maybe in another year or two, and depending on how things go for him at Liverpool. But not quite yet.