Yesterday, Ousmane Dembele’s representatives came out to rubbish rumours that the winger could be set to depart Barcelona this summer. Today, it’s Philippe Coutinho’s agent talking to the press to say much the same thing.
Coutinho has had his struggles since leaving Liverpool and, along with Dembele, seems like one of Barcelona’s two high-value assets that could be moved to fund Antoine Griezmann’s signing, but according to Kia Joorabchian that isn’t happening.
“I spoke a few days ago with [sporting director] Pep Segura,” Joorabchian told RMC Sport today. “He told me that the club do not want to sell Coutinho this summer at any price, and I have not talked with PSG about Coutinho.”
Realistically, Coutinho returning to Liverpool was likely never on the cards—but there certainly has been a section of the fanbase who has at times tried to will that into reality, hoping that if Barcelona decide to sell it might happen.
It looks like that won’t be happening—that Coutinho won’t be sold to PSG this summer to help balance the return of Neymar, and he certainly won’t be sold back to Liverpool to wipe Barcelona’s remaining debt for him off the books.
Yet, in the larger world of football transfer business, it seems unsustainable for Barcelona to hold on to both Coutinho and Dembele as their agents believe they will this summer and to still bring in Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
And meanwhile, Madrid have just wrapped up the signing of Joao Felix for €126M and given the 19-year-old Griezmann’s number seven—making it seem unthinkable that his move to Barcelona isn’t now all but done.
Still, that’s a problem—paying for their expensive transfers—for Atletico Madrid and a potential problem for Barca. For Liverpool fans hoping for Coutinho’s return this summer, it seems there’s definitely no chance of that now.