Yesterday, we reported that a January deal for Philippe Coutinho was unlikely, simply because of finances, if for no other reason. Never ones to let facts get in the way of a good story, Spanish publication Sport decided to report that a €150 million (£133 million) fee for Coutinho was agreed upon by Liverpool and Barcelona.
The paper was unclear whether this was a full £133 million (which would be a significant improvement on their previous, non-made-up offers), or if this was £1, plus £133 million when Coutinho becomes the first man to walk on Mars (or other unlikely-to-be-achieved add-ons).
The English press has picked up this story and ran with it, but no credible sources with connections to Liverpool Football Club are taking this story seriously.
The financial troubles at Barcelona, such as a wage structure that represents 80% of the club’s income, are still there. Moreover, if Liverpool decide to join Atletico Madrid in tapping-up charges (something, which at this point, seems wholly justified), things could get worse yet for the Catalan giants.
And from Liverpool’s vantage point, the rationale for keeping Coutinho in the first place has not changed since the initial decision to keep him (he’s on a long-term deal without a release clause, he increases our chances of Champions League qualification and advancement, we don’t necessarily need the money, etc).
Anyway, it’s a rumor that is out there, so now it’s here.