Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has in many ways told us what we already know: that Liverpool are not going to sell Coutinho in January.
But interestingly, he’s suggested that Barcelona do not think they’ll get him and are not even planning on making a bid, either.
Yesterday, the ugly, annoying link resurfaced because CEO Oscar Grau publicly announced that the Catalans had the money to purchase our Brazilian 25-year-old.
But Balague reckons there’s been a misinterpretation by the media as to the meaning of his comments.
“The Coutinho-Barcelona link will not go away,” he told Sky Sports, cited in the Express.
“It was quite clear, everybody knows Coutinho wanted to go to Barcelona, Barcelona wanted Coutinho, but Liverpool said no.
“The latest rumours comes from Oscar Grau, the CEO of Barcelona, who said ‘if we wanted to sign Coutinho in January, we can’.
“But remember that’s what he said, he’s not saying ‘we’re going to go for Philippe Coutinho’. Are they interested? Of course they are.
“If you look at Barcelona, and it will become more and more obvious in the next few games against Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla, you’ll realise Barcelona still need two or three top players.
“A (Marco) Verratti, another (Andres) Iniesta, that kind of player, and a Coutinho.
“So of course they are still interested in Coutinho, they’ve got everything sorted with the player, we’ve all known that for months but will they convince Liverpool? That’s the question mark.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen in January, I don’t think they’ve got intention of making it in January.
“The words of Oscar Grau were ‘if we had to pay for him, we’ve got the money for him’.”
It seems to us as if Barca are trying to bore us into selling Coutinho. Force so many stories about the transfer that we eventually lose the will to live and give in for a price they decide.
But it’s not going to happen. Why they think FSG will change their hard-nosed stance between the summer and the winter is anyone’s guess.
At the end of this season, we obviously expect rumours, hyperbole and various bids to circle continuously, but it’s October 2017 and we’re about to play a run of games that could define our campaign.
Can club owners not leave the transfer stuff until the transfer window, at least? You don’t see any comments from Liverpool’s hierarchy about Virgil van Dijk…