With Liverpool having rejected a £72 million bid from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho, the Reds can draw inspiration from RB Leipzig in their defiance of the Catalonians, writes Paul Joyce.
Barcelona have tested Liverpool’s resolve once so far, with an €80 million (£72m) bid for Phil Coutinho and more is expected to come. The Spanish giants were only testing the waters and would have expected the offer to be rejected out of hand as it was by the Reds.
Yet, as Paul Joyce writes, Liverpool’s “blueprint” for defying Barcelona can be found close at hand with RB Leipzig’s battle to keep Naby Keïta evidence of how mega money offers can be ignored.
However, all the available evidence would suggest no such crumbling in resolve is imminent and this is what Liverpool should seek to emulate in their bid to hold onto Philippe Coutinho, according to Paul Joyce.
Joyce is curious as to how Coutinho will have reacted to being bid for by Barcelona as he must surely be aware of such an offer. Furthermore, the Times’ reporter is interested in the fact that the La Liga runners up would not have bid purely for the sake of it.
“It is also rare for a club to table an offer for a player in the modern era of transfers without a guarantee of some interest that the target would make the move,” writes Joyce.
Based on this, it will certainly be a test of Liverpool’s resolve to hold onto Coutinho when another bid comes in as expected.
Especially after Jürgen Klopp publicly stated that Liverpool are not a selling club and that Coutinho is not for sale.
While not only detrimental to the dynamic of the team, losing Coutinho would be a horrific scenario for future situations where Liverpool want to hold onto key players.
It will be interesting to see if RB Leipzig sell Keïta this summer but regardless of what happens there, Liverpool need to emulate the Bundesliga side’s resolve and ensure that Philippe Coutinho does not leave this summer.
When the 2017/18 season begins, the Brazilian needs to be a Liverpool player and this can only happen if both the player and club are absolutely adamant that no deal will be struck.