It has seemed strange for Liverpool fans how Coutinho went from signing a five-year contract and stating his undying love for the club – to handing in a transfer request six months later.
But even more bizarrely, it appears that our Brazilian was showing signs of wanting out almost immediately after he penned his bumper new deal.
Simon Hughes has written a lengthy and interesting piece in the Independent which states that after hearing of Barca’s interest, Coutinho decided to sign a short-term lease on his house – almost immediately after the fresh contract.
This isn’t the behaviour of a player who sees his long-term future on Merseyside, but according to Hughes, FSG and Liverpool’s hierarchy immediately recognised this.
As a result, they decided very early that they’d keep the Brazilian no matter what, eager to make a statement and present Liverpool as a powerful club who will not be poached of its best players – as Fernando Torres, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez have been before.
The report suggests this was very much owner John W Henry’s decision and that his underlings – such as Michael Edwards, Mike Gordon and Jurgen Klopp – have had to tow his party line.
We admire Henry’s stance, actually – and now the transfer window has closed – believe we’ll get the best out of Coutinho and will likely see his value soar again.
If he does the business this season, he can leave with our blessing.