Philippe Coutinho won’t be joining Barcelona in January, but don’t tell that to Lionel Messi. Or to Spanish tabloid transfer traders Don Balon, at least, given they’re the ones saying Messi has been promised by the powers that be at Barcelona that Coutinho will be signed in an attempt to keep the star Argentinean happy.
Messi, it’s worth remembering, is in the final year of his current contract and has so far refused to sign an extension that’s been, supposedly, agreed to in principle for quite some time now. So if Messi really were to want Coutinho, it would be in Barcelona’s best interest to get him. Though there’s no real sign he does.
After all, last summer it was the now departed Neymar outlets like Don Balon were saying was demanding Barcelona sign Coutinho—at the time, some even suggested Liverpool’s Brazilian star wasn’t Messi’s first choice and that Neymar’s desire to see the club sign his international bestie was causing tension at the club.
Which, if true, would make it a bit suspicious they’d now be promising Messi a shiny new Coutinho signing to keep him happy. Or, if it’s not true, would probably just mean Don Balon are making shit up, something the Barcelona-obsessed press have proven to be exceptionally good at doing when it comes to Coutinho.
Meanwhile, in the slightly more respectable corners of the Barcelona-obsessed press, the latest Coutinho talk is being met with skepticism, with Mundo Deportivo critical of any suggestion the player could be signed this January and suggesting all it can do is further annoy Liverpool and make any future deal more difficult.
There, lead Barcelona columnist Miguel Rico is categorical stating the club don’t have the funds to offer a fee Liverpool might accept in January, and all any talk of a move can do is make a summer move more difficult—though, really, one imagines Liverpool have long since reached peak annoyance regarding Barcelona.
In the end, though, none of the talk out of Spain especially matters or will change anything—Coutinho won’t be sold in January, and that’s the end of it. As for next summer, well, Coutinho’s international BFF is at Paris Saint-Germain now, and unlike Barcelona they’ve shown they’re willing to splash the cash.