With Liverpool looking increasingly lost and floundering on the pitch, following up two months of decent performances and underwhelming results with an absolutely dire performance to go with the underwhelming result against Tottenham, there’s been a sharp resurgence in Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona stories.
It was probably inevitable. If Liverpool were in the title hunt, it would have been easy to dismiss any notion of Coutinho departing before the summer—the narrative would have been one of his leaving after helping the team to something or other, like Luis Suarez before him who helped them back into the Champions League.
Instead, the past week has seen almost daily talk, most of it coming out of the Catalan press, about a potential January move for the Brazilian midfielder. Earlier in the week, that talk came from Sport, claiming Barcelona were willing to pay a rather laughable €80M for him. Today, it’s from Mundo Deportivo.
And Mundo Deportivo are saying that Liverpool would be willing sellers in January—but only if Barcelona are themselves are willing to up their fee to €150M. If one were to assume Liverpool actually were looking to sell, it’s a reasonable sounding number given they paid just a touch less for Ousmane Dembele last summer.
It’s probably foolish to assume that, though, given all signs from the Liverpool end continue to point to the club not being willing to even consider the sale of Coutinho during the season. No matter the truth of the matter, though, talk out of Catalonia of a Coutinho deal isn’t going to stop any time soon.
It’s loud, it’s out there, and it’s going to continue for at least a little while longer even if Liverpool do rediscover their form and go on a good run that eventually at least kills off any talk of a mid-season deal. And if Liverpool don’t rediscover their form, it will get worse. So it goes.