Yesterday, following their second defeat and an aggregate 5-1 loss to Real Madrid in the two-legged Spanish Supercup, Barcelona general manager Pep Segura told the press a deal to bring Philippe Coutinho to the Camp Nou was nearly done. That came as news to Liverpool and manager Jürgen Klopp.
“I don’t know why other people are saying what they’re saying,” was Klopp’s response, with the Liverpool manager insisting Coutinho remains very much not for sale. “We have already said what we have to say. No news from me. Nobody told me anything different since we spoke last time.”
Despite another flurry of reports from Barcelona-linked outlets like Sport and Mundo Deportivo claiming a deal is done, or nearly done, or that a mega-bid is in the works, Liverpool insist that their stance hasn’t changed and that their Brazilian playmaker will not be sold this summer at any price.
They have the player on a five year contract with no release clause, and no matter how much he might wish to play club football for Barcelona, next summer’s World Cup will be the only one that falls within Coutinho’s prime years as a football player—and he will have to play well to earn a place with Brazil.
There have been further rumblings in the Catalan press this week that the player could go on strike, that perhaps his current back injury is already that—a fake, the player sitting out during a key time in Liverpool’s season in an attempt to force a move. Klopp, though, isn’t interested in such talk.
“Since he has a back problem he is not in training,” Klopp added. “I have nothing bad to say about it. We are not silly—we know that it’s a difficult situation—but there’s nothing new to say. It’s not always easy to say the 100% truth in these things, even if I don’t like to lie, but this time this is the situation.”