Our long international nightmare is over. Philippe Coutinho will be a Liverpool player. At least for the entirety of the 2017-18 season and at least according to the Catalan press, who until the Brazilian made an appearance against Sevilla on Wednesday had still been talking as though he might not be.
Ever since the transfer window closed with Liverpool having stood firm on their insistence not to sell Coutinho, there had been rumblings from Barcelona-briefed outlets that the Catalan club wanted Coutinho to go on strike—that they’d told his agent to ask the player to sit out the Champions League.
The goal was to avoid Coutinho becoming cup tied, meaning Barcelona could continue to work towards signing him in January without concern for his status and availability should Liverpool advance to the knockout rounds. Last night, though, Coutinho played. He is now cup tied. And Barcelona are giving up.
Finally, they’re giving up. At least until they figure out a way not to in a week or a month. But for now, they’re moving on and will focus elsewhere in their hunt for midfield reinforcements in January, perhaps even returning for Nice’s Jean Micheal Seri, who agreed terms with them over the summer.
So say Mundo Deportivo, who continue to do yeoman’s work spinning Barcelona’s lies, claiming Liverpool were willing to sell in the summer—and would be again in January—but set the price at £200M. Now, though, with Coutinho cup tied, Barcelona will walk rather than trying to negotiate the number down.
The truth is that Liverpool were never willing to sell and never entered into negotiations with the player and that Barcelona and their various press mouthpieces are, well, lying. It’s really as simple as that. But at least now they’re spinning a lie to end the Coutinho story. Hopefully at least until next summer.