Liverpool fans woke up with our Christmas bubbles slightly deflated, following the weird story that Nike had announced the Coutinho to Barcelona transfer.
There was a part of the Barcelona Nike website which was advertising Coutinho merchandise, although the link was dead and it was soon removed.
But why did it happen?
According to the Echo’s Liverpool reporter James Pearce, Nike and Barcelona are not providing answers – but he still cannot see Phil leaving this winter.
I’m not working today and until Barca or Nike respond to requests for a comment about why/how it happened no point speculating.
For what it’s worth I’d be amazed if a deal is done for Jan.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) December 31, 2017
Barca are obviously incredibly confident of getting a deal done, but there’s no indication Liverpool would sell now having stubbornly refused in the summer.
What’s more, he just played against Leicester – and if a mega deal was imminent – there’s no way he would have been risked.
Virgil van Dijk didn’t play for three consecutive games in order not to risk the £75m transfer, but Coutinho’s fee will be around double that – so there’s no way he’d be in Klopp’s consideration.
If he’s absent from the Burnley and Everton tie, we know we’ll be in trouble.