Barcelona’s continued pursuit of Phillip Coutinho has been an unwelcome distraction to Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the Champions League group stage.
Having had three bids rejected Barca are expected to return with a fourth, yet Jurgen Klopp has insisted throughout the summer that Coutinho is not for sale.
Barca’s arrogant attitude during this saga has smacked of a petulant child, one who perhaps should visit this free spins site to cheer themselves up a little.
The Spanish club have certainly been successful over the years, but their refusal to take no for answer over Coutinho does their reputation no favours.
While success has been hard to come by for Liverpool in recent times, their history surely deserves some measure of respect from the La Liga club?
Klopp hasn’t been brought in to sell his best players ñ he’s been brought in to restore Liverpool to their former glories. If he thinks Coutinho is a key part of that, then no should mean no.
Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has argued that accepting £138 million for a player he doesn’t believe to be a “game-changer” is a no-brainer.
During an interview with talkSPORT, Souness insisted Liverpool should sell Coutinho and questioned whether he is actually worth the money being offered.
“Players normally get their way at the end of the day and with the sort of cash that is being offered now, I’d be snapping their hand off,” he said.
“That kind of money you can’t say no to. Is he that good?
“For that sort of money you want a player that is a game-changer, the difference in big games, and I don’t see him as that.
“Yeah, he is an attractive little footballer, he is neat and tidy on the ball, he wrong-foots people, he scores some wonder goals, but at that sort of level I would take the money.
“I don’t see him being a Suarez or a Neymar. Coutinho is six, seven goals a season.
“Does he turn up in the real big games? (Sadio) Mane is the man for me.”
Souness may well have a point. Since January 2013, Coutinho has made five Champions League appearances for Liverpool, with a single win against Ludogorets all he has to show for his efforts.
However, Klopp’s refusal to entertain Barca’s bids for the Brazilian shows the esteem in which he holds the player.
Champions League football would clearly be a big boost to Liverpool’s hopes of regaining their place amongst the elite, but hanging onto your best players is also a major part of that.
Whatever Barcelona, Coutinho or Souness may think, if Klopp and Liverpool don’t want to sell, that should be an end to the matter.