Speaking to talkSPORT’s Jim White in an exclusive interview, the agent of Philippe Coutinho, Kia Joorabchian, has said it would be hard to consider the Brazilian moving to any Premier League other than Liverpool.
There has been a lot of noise about Coutinho’s situation at Barcelona, with him apparently staring solemnly at the Camp Nou exit door.
We’re not holding our breath and Joorabchain said, “I don’t know about those stories. Bartomeu was very clear with me, saying he doesn’t want the player to leave and he has a future there.”
His comments come across as somewhat disingenuous, given the business he’s in, but we’ve quoted them here for you so you can make up your own mind.
“Manchester United is a great club, I have players there and I have all the respect for them, but as far as Philippe goes it would be an extremely difficult to a near-impossible move.
“It would be very difficult for Philippe to play for any of Liverpool’s rivals, because he has such a great affinity towards Liverpool. His time there was fantastic.
“Yes, but like all big players at some point, you want to experience a different thing in your career because your career is very short, but it [his Anfield exit] has no reflection on the fact his heart and affinity is very much with Liverpool.
“I know he was cheering every time they had the chance. Lucas Leiva is the same way. A lot of these guys who leave Liverpool remain Liverpool fans because of the fans and the passion they have.
“So it would be hard for him to go to a rival.
“Every time we’ve spoken about it we’ve had that same conversation, he would find it hard to play for another club in the Premier League.”
Joorabchian admitted, however, that any move that would see Coutinho return to Anfield would of course depend on whether the deal suited the Reds.
Perhaps playing a touch to heavily on his sympathies, almost syncophantically so, the Brazilian’s agent went to great lengths to congratulate us as he seemed to acknowledge (however sincerely) the challenge of making it happen.
“The thing is, Liverpool have built a tremendous squad, the manager has a great balance there and it’s probably one of the run football clubs in the country.
“So with the build-up they’ve done and the squad they have, it [signing Coutinho] would really have to be something they would have to decide whether or not they feel there is now a current gap in the squad for someone life Philippe.
“I think it’s going to be a very difficult deal, but most of the big ones are always very, very difficult.
“Obviously if he were to move back [to the Premier League], it would have to be Liverpool, but at the moment I think it would be difficult and it would be up to them.”
And there lies the rub – the decision is being placed squarely on the Reds. As much as Joorabchian might be scheming with guile and using cunning words to achieve his own ends, this is from the horse’s mouth.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Only time will tell, and we’ll have to wait and see what Jürgen Klopp thinks of all this.