Philippe Coutinho has been missing through injury, genuine or otherwise, for a week now while rumours of Barcelona interest swirl. There are daily reports in the Catalan press of impending offers, claims Coutinho has played his last Liverpool game, and talk of done deals.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are trying to prepare for an FA Cup tie against rivals Everton. No prizes for guessing which topic reporters were more interested in discussing when manager Jürgen Klopp held his pre-match press conference today for Friday’s cup match.
“All the things I could say now would only create stories,” Klopp said, a simple statement that will necessarily still lead to stories with Liverpool fans desperate for some insight into what exactly is going on when it comes to Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona’s interest in him.
“I have nothing to say. That’s how it is, it’s the transfer window, but that’s all. I know that means I’ve already opened the door half way because I’ve mentioned it, but nothing I could say now would help me, the player, or the club. That’s the only thing I’m interested in.”
That didn’t entirely put an end the Coutinho questions, and Klopp was later asked about the Brazilian’s injury and when—if ever—he might be fit to play. Certainly not for Everton, Klopp said, but he did suggest that the player would be fit in time to face Manchester City.
Of course, timelines can change—certainly they did in the summer when Coutinho was only feigning injury while angling for a Barcelona move. And one can well imagine a scenario where if Coutinho has completed his transfer by the City match he will be fit to play, just for Barcelona.
All told, it’s something of a non-update, but anyone hoping for more was always going to be disappointed. Meanwhile, reliable reports now suggest Coutinho is likely to be sold this month and the only real question is how long it takes for Barcelona to make an acceptable offer.