One must consider whether Liverpool really represent the wooden spoon for Philippe Coutinho, the consolation prize or the dreaded option that the gameshow host was just desperate for an earnest contestant to avoid. A move to Barcelona may not materialise after Ousmane Dembélé joined Lionel Messi and company for the second biggest transfer fee in football history, but a fourth bid lurks in the shadows.
Oh dear, what will the forlorn Coutinho do? Settle for £150,000 a week, Champions League football, and linking up with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, and Daniel Sturridge in attack? No, Liverpool’s number ten will try to push for a move to Barcelona in the press. Champions League football is rumoured not to be enough; moreover, Coutinho does not want to be included in the squad for European football to cup tie him for a club he really wants to play for, according to beIN Sports.
Sky Sports report that he’s "very low" with Liverpool set to reject a fourth bid from Barcelona. Whether these rumours are true or not, Coutinho’s future does not seem completely settled despite noises that he was set to stay and is innocent of all charges against him to return to the fold. From a bad back to illness, Coutinho has ensured that he will not play for Liverpool until his future is definitively resolved.
Borussia Dortmund have to replace Dembélé but have made a considerable profit on a player that only spent a single season at the club. Coutinho, however, has been at Liverpool since January 2013. Reaching his fifth year at Merseyside’s finest may be openly challenged by the man himself, but as it stands, these are merely rumours designed to create a sense of instability around both player and club.