While Klopp and the rest of his team travel to Dubai for a warm weather training camp, wantaway midfielder Philippe Coutinho has stayed behind on Merseyside. The Brazilian is hoping to complete a transfer to Barcelona this month. This latest boycott comes on the heels of Coutinho missing Liverpool’s last two games due to a “sore thigh.”
While Liverpool would prefer to wait until the summer to say good bye to their Brazilian superstar, it’s become clear that they may not get their wish. Of course, this is contingent on Barcelona actually producing a respectable bid for the player, something which they’ve conspicuously failed to do since this whole saga began back in July.
The rumor is that their initial package will be worth about £140million after performance add-ons, but the Liverpool’s willingness to accept this bid will depend on the amount of money offered up front, as well as the type of add-ons included. This rumored bid has yet to surface, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Reports in the Catalan press are saying that Coutinho could be announced as soon as this weekend, which, if history is any indication, is a sure sign that this will not be the case and is, in fact, just another underhanded attempt to unsettle the player orchestrated by Barcelona and knowingly aided and abetted by the local press.
Meanwhile, the players who matter will get over a week of rest after their thrilling 2-1 win in the Merseyside derby 3rd round FA Cup match. After the jam-packed festive schedule, the break will be much-appreciated and a deserved reward for an excellent run of games during, arguably, the season’s toughest month.
When they return home, it will be to face league leaders Manchester City, who whomped Liverpool at their last meeting. Liverpool will be looking to settle the score and put an end to City’s “invincibles” run.