It's patently obvious that Barca want Philip Coutinho as they've been drip-feeding bait into the media about him for over a year. Ironically much of that was via Neymar who has now left, but that doesn't change the fact that he is very much on their wish list.
In fact the pressure for at least one big signing there is now immense - and that's without taking into account their relative negligence in terms of transfer business since they signed Suarez.
And if it's clear they want him, it's almost as clear he wants to go there because they all do, don't they? Spain's big two being the ultimate destination for South American players is a cliche for a reason.
That said, Coutinho has given no public hints about wanting out now and, while I'm fully aware there's plenty of time for that to change, I don't see him as dummy spitter. He signed a new deal, didn't insist on a clause and is reputedly happy on Merseyside with his family.
However, by far the biggest factor in my view that he will still be here in September is that the owners recognise this is a pivotal moment in their tenure: they've sorted the finances, they've dealt with the stadium issue and they've recruited a world class manager. All that's left now is the real trophies and they won't come without top class players.
At which point every fan, whether cynic or dreamer, will look at the last few windows' spend and question the ambition. However, the serious interest in Virgil van Dijk for a world record fee and the two enormous bids for Naby Keita suggest that they are attempting a step change in their transfer dealings now and both those deals bear all the signs of Klopp's hand. I therefore do not see any of them countenancing a sale of one of our few existing top class players at the same time as that's ultimately self-defeating.
And if all that doesn't clinch it, the biggest factor for me is supporter power: sell Coutinho and the shit will hit the fan - and that's not a factor that can be easily dismissed with these owners who exploited fan power to a certain extent in order to buy the club and who were very much bitten by it over their initial pricing structure for the new main stand.
No, I think they know this season needs to produce a credible title challenge and that selling Coutinho is anathema to that. Beyond this season is another matter of course, but that's an article for another time. I think Philip Coutinho will still be here in September.
Philippe Coutinho terrorizing opposition defences alongside Luis Suarez. It’s 2014 all over again! Except this time it’s in Catalonia.
Yep, I think Coutinho will be on his way. Would anyone be surprised by this lack of “loyalty”? As if he was ever loyal to us! If you have five minutes watch this clip of ‘John Aldridge leaving Liverpool’ on Youtube.
You’ll see and hear the utter devastation as he speaks to Clive Tyldesley. That just doesn’t happen these days. And it’s not a “foreigner” thing either. McManaman. Owen. Did not the “great” Steven Gerrard flirt ostentatiously with Chelsea just after LIFTING THE EUROPEAN CUP?
The only question regarding Coutinho is “When?” and not “If?”. The three parties who’ll decide this are Barcelona and Coutinho. Oh and LFC. Barcelona will want to replace Neymar for footballing reasons but also to appease their supporters. And if they want someone, they usually get him. Coutinho’s head has been turned and anyway, he’s always had an eye on Barcelona, just like Suarez before him. If he wants to leave, he’ll get his move. LFC? Ha! None of us trust our Board to sign players so why should we trust them to keep our best ones?
But what do they care, the season tickets have been sold, the TV money is bigger than ever and we’ve just got ‘sleeve advertising’.
This is going to come to a head within a week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see movement before the European Cup qualifier next Tuesday. If he starts that game, he’s ours for the season as they won’t want him if he can’t play in the European Cup. If he doesn’t, then prepare for the inevitable.
Should he stay, mercifully, then enjoy his magic this season. Because it will be his last one in L4.
I’d be staggered if Liverpool allowed Phil Coutinho to leave this summer. For one thing, it would be highly embarrassing for Jurgen Klopp given how adamant he has been that he won’t sell.
The owners won't go against Klopp’s wishes, so unless Klopp does a huge about face then it’s not going to happen, no matter how much nonsense Barca put in the Spanish press to try and oil the wheels. The fee is largely irrelevant too. We haven't been able to spend the vast sums of cash we already have, what use is another £100m or so?
As I see it, the only thing that might change Klopp’s mind is if Coutinho himself becomes a problem by sulking around the place, not really focussing on his game and letting his form be affected by it. Does he seem the type to do that? Not for me. He’s a nice lad and although I have no doubt that he’d love to go and link up with Messi and Suarez, I think if he has to wait another year for it to happen he’ll go along with that, albeit reluctantly. Otherwise why sign that contract with no escape clause a few months ago?
People point to the fact that FSG sold Suarez as proof that they would do the same with Coutinho, but don’t forget they initially blocked Suarez from moving and forced him to stay another year. Granted, that was 'only' Arsenal chasing him and by the time Barca eventually came knocking they couldn’t do anything about it because they’d agreed a release clause in his new contract. The point stands though: They refused to sell and made him stay for another year, and my belief is they'll do the same with Phil.
I expect Klopp will have spoken with Coutinho and told him he wants him to give us another season to have a real crack at the title, and then come what may he can join Barca next summer, assuming they still want him. And if he has a good season, then why wouldn’t they? Coutinho owes us another year, not just because he signed that contract, but because we've even kept his loser mate Moreno around just to keep him happy.
So in summary, yes Coutinho will almost certainly go to Barcelona but no, it won’t happen this summer.