While many Liverpool fans around the globe have spent the past few days wringing their hands about a potential transfer of 24-year-old Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona this summer, the mood at the club remains untroubled.
Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool are confident they will not face an especially difficult fight to hold on to the player this summer, and if Barcelona do return with a more realistic offer following their initial £72M bid, the club intend to turn it down.
No matter what Barcelona may offer, the player isn’t for sale. That message was repeated this evening via The Echo’s James Pearce after the reporter spoke to Klopp and other Liverpool officials at the club’s pre-season training camp in Germany.
The message was amplified by Goal’s Melissa Reddy, while Seleção Brasileira reported that sources within Coutinho’s camp were mystified by reports that the midfielder had agreed terms with Barcelona and was looking to leave Liverpool.
Additionally, there have been rumblings from Spanish journalists late this evening that far from agreeing to terms with Barcelona, Coutinho has reaffirmed that he is happy to remain at Liverpool as the club prepare to return to the Champions League.
This all follows earlier reports out of Spain that Liverpool were demanding at least €150M. Those reports appeared highly questionable, and in retrospect appear as though they may have been laying the groundwork for Barcelona to exit the chase.
All of which makes for a rather bizarre transfer tale, with Barcelona submitting a bid they knew Liverpool would dismiss out of hand before briefing friendly journalists personal terms had been agreed before then floating that lofty €150M fee.
If things continue along the path we appear to be on, tomorrow will see reports in Spain that Coutinho wanted a move but Liverpool set an unreasonable price and so the club felt it best to look elsewhere—perhaps to Paulo Dybala or Ousmane Dembele.
And all the while, Liverpool have seemed unconcerned and the player has done nothing to suggest he wants a move. The only question may end up being who exactly this whole song and dance by Barcelona was meant to impress.