What does one believe anymore? Liverpool were chasing a midfielder on the assumption that Philippe Coutinho was staying, making it difficult to link the reported interest in Jean Michaël Seri to the departure of the wantaway Brazilian with certainty that provides comfort when confusion and shock rages around you.
Jürgen Klopp has said that nothing has changed, but he must not be impressed in the slightest that this is the focus ahead of the first leg of a vital Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim. Klopp has also underlined that Liverpool’s position remains the same: Coutinho is not for sale.
“It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it, it’s that I can’t change my answers - because there is nothing else to say,” Klopp said on what has been an unwanted and disappointing distraction after a successful pre-season. “If they [Barcelona] say they will bid whatever money, we don’t want it. It is a clear message. The owners are 100 per cent clear on it.
“We don’t want money, we want to invest in the team and have the best team because we have our aims and dreams. That is the message. So when I said it’s not important what I think, that is what I mean. I have the player from the 31 August latest, again, or when the back issue is sorted. There is nothing else I can say about it.
“We are 100 per cent clear on it. There is nothing else to say.”
This probably won’t be the last of it, but Barcelona cannot afford both Ousmane Dembélé after signing former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho for a most curious €40 million. The move itself was peculiar in and of itself, but the fee just added more to the mystery. Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has given Barcelona a two-game deadline to complete a deal for Dembéle, but Liverpool haven’t been anywhere as near as forthcoming.
What does this all mean? Something but probably nothing until it ends up being everything.