More than a month remains in the transfer window (a very, very long month), but clubs, fans, and—for lack of a better word—journalists, alike are all slamming their fists down on the panic button. A certain segment of Liverpool fans in particular have panicked over recent rumors of a £72 million bid from Barcalona for our very own magical unicorn, Philippe Coutinho.
We have pointed out that this rumor is probably bullshit, as is the rumor that Coutinho has come to personal terms with the Catalan Giants. The latest twist, courtesy of Spanish publication Sport, claims that Liverpool will demand a fee of at least £133 million (€150 million) in order to allow the diminutive attacking midfielder to leave Merseyside. Although some sites are describing this as a move “to scare” Barcelona away, this seems to be a fairly reasonable valuation of the player in this market.
In a summer that has seen numerous eye-watering massive transfer fees splashed around—including £160 million for Kylian Mbappe and possibly £200 million for Neymar—£133 million for Coutinho actually seems about right.
It is worth remembering that Coutinho recently penned a 5-year deal to remain at Liverpool, one that did not include a release clause. This should give the club a large degree of leverage in order to withstand pressure from even the biggest clubs, including Barcelona.
Coutinho just turned 25, and should be on the verge of entering the prime of his career. Obviously Liverpool will want to keep the player as long as possible, and failing that, to earn as much as humanly possible from his sale. All of that said, this, like the last few stories to come out of Spain, is probably bullshit. But at least this bullshit sounds somewhat reasonable.