Everybody knows Barcelona want to sign Philippe Coutinho and that Philippe Coutinho would like to sign for Barcelona. There’s just one problem: Barcelona aren’t willing to offer even fair market value for the player and are rumoured to be planning a January bid of around half what they paid for Ousmane Dembele.
Their efforts to get Coutinho to agitate for a move to the point Liverpool are willing to accept an insulting offer for their star midfielder could backfire, though, with rumours heating up that Paris Saint-Germain could now be plotting their own move, likely to come in the summer of 2018, for the 25-year-old Brazilian.
This is all fuelled by a meeting between Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, and PSG technical director Antero Henrique in London over the weekend while Coutinho and Liverpool were in town to face Tottenham in a game that went rather disastrously for the Reds, who appear already to have lost touch with the title race.
Sport, Sky, and a slew of other outlets have since picked up on this and spun it into highly speculative stories about Coutinho making the switch to PSG to play with international teammate Neymar in a club side that over the past few years has begun to shape up as a mini-seleção—Brazil’s national club team.
With PSG showing last summer they have money to spend and a willingness to pay what it takes to get deals done and the presence of Neymar, that Coutinho might be swayed by the chance to play in Paris is believable. And one imagines it would mean as good a payday for agent Joorabchian as if he went to Barcelona.
For Liverpool, too, if the club continue to stumble their way through the current season, fail to retain a top four place, and Coutinho is certain to depart, then the opportunity both to get more money back for him and to stick it to Barcelona would be satisfying on two fronts.