This smells like bullsh*t to us, but according to Spanish publication Diario Gol, Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he doesn’t want them to target Liverpool’s playmaker Coutinho…
Their report says that Neymar has once again spoken up the possibility of a summer bid for our no.10, but that the greatest player of all time is against the hypothetical transfer because it’ll give his Brazilian team-mate too much power at the club.
Messi is not yet 30 and still feels he has plenty of years left at the game’s pinnacle and believes signing a 24-year-old would be the first sign of his decline – apparently.
So how many things are wrong with this?
Firstly, Coutinho signed a mega new contract in January and is tied to Liverpool until 2022. It would take a world-record transfer fee to get us to sell.
Secondly, and not unimportantly, Coutinho’s out of form. Since his nasty injury picked up at the start of November, he’s scored just once – going from an early season Player of the Year contender – to someone being pulled off on the hour mark for Ben Woodburn (v Burnley last time out). Before there’s rumours of a Barcelona transfer, he needs to pull his finger out.
Lastly, we just cannot imagine Messi being so petty. Neymar is one of his best friends and he’s far too brilliant to be threatened by Coutinho, however good our Brazilian can be.