Barcelona, still a bit sore that Liverpool were such sticklers about selling Philippe Coutinho last summer, are apparently giving the rumor mill a big ol’ spin on the day of Liverpool’s quarterfinal Champions League tie against Manchester City. Charming.
The rumor, courtesy of Spanish publication Diario Gol, claims that Barcelona are set to beat rivals Real Madrid to Mohamed Salah’s signature in the summer. The same Barcelona, incidentally, that refused to come anywhere near a reasonable offer for Coutinho’s services last summer, are apparently ready to break the world transfer record for the Egyptian. Or maybe not, but more on that later.
Diario Gol go on to claim that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has already approached Liverpool about Salah, but believes he will lose out to his chief domestic and European rivals.
And because this story needed an even more unbelievable twist, Barcelona are reportedly willing to part with former Dortmund player Ousmane Dembele (who just signed last summer for €105 million plus €40 million in achievable add-ons) as a partial make weight for Salah.
So, let’s see: a distracting rumor on the eve of a big match? Check. A humiliating rumor involving their chief rival? Check. A player swap deal? Check.
Yes, this has all the signs of transfer rumor fuckery by Barcelona and/or Diario Gol.
Of course, keeping Salah long-term is no sure thing, but all indications so far point to Liverpool keeping the star player for at least this summer.
We can start to panic when actual credible reports come out, especially from Liverpool connected journalists, as we saw in the days leading up to the finalization of the Coutinho deal. Until then, a rumor as transparently made up as this can be easily ignored.