Jack Hallows talks Philippe Coutinho submitting his transfer request and what it potentially means for Liverpool Football Club this season.
Thanks Phil, I just get done typing up one article on you and then you go and drop this on us. Nice one, love it.
As you all know by now, Philippe Coutinho has decided it would be a great idea on the eve of the Reds’ first Premier League game to formally request to leave Liverpool Football Club – by email of all things, what is this the 1990s?
Naturally, this has not gone down well amongst Reds fans as our summer just continues to progress from bad to worse and the backlash to the player’s actions has been brutal to say the least. Here are a couple of the less ‘spicy’ examples.
Agitating for a move, exaggerating back issues and handing in transfer requests 24hrs before a season kicks off… Not the best way to leave
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) August 11, 2017
Coutinho needs to be sold dont want him at the club if he wants to go elsewhere #LFC
— Jonathan Fowler (@JonathanFowle10) August 11, 2017
So, what does this all mean for Liverpool Football Club?
In all honesty, it could mean very little. We’ve already seen this summer that despite the amount of willy waving going on in the transfer market so far and the ridiculous sums of money being thrown around, that clubs don’t actually have to sell their players. Hell, it’s already been reported that the request changes nothing and was rejected almost as soon as it arrived in Sporting Director Michael Edwards’ inbox.
Liverpool have thus far been adamant that Coutinho will not be sold for any money this summer with manager Jürgen Klopp being particularly vocal on the subject. The German knows that in order to build on the club’s fourth place finish last campaign, he needs to be holding onto his best players.
This sentiment has been strongly echoed by the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group who have not only rejected two bids from the Catalan giants – believed to be £72m and £90m respectively – but also released a statement of their own through the club’s official website this morning.
I won’t bore you with the exact wording as you’ve probably already read it but the basic message is simple: we are done selling our best players without putting up a fight. You can knock on our door all you want but it’s not opening.
The player can agitate for the move and exaggerate his back injury all he wants but the harsh reality for Coutinho is this: it’s a World Cup year. All the no.10 will achieve by refusing to don Liverpool red while contracted to the club, is diminishing his chances of turning out as part of a Brazil squad highly tipped as one of the favourites going into next summer’s international tournament.
The fact that the club has already turned down what would’ve been a world record sum of money before the ludicrous fee sent Barcelona’s way by Paris Saint Germain at the start of the month, provides the biggest signal of their intention to keep the player yet.
If Arsenal can force Alexis Sanchez into staying one more year and RB Leipzig can do the same to Naby Keïta, then there is no way that Liverpool can’t manage to squeeze twelve more months out of Coutinho. The player’s new five-year contract only kicked in at the start of July and does not feature a release clause. Liverpool hold all the cards and they’re not about to let that change.
With Barcelona looking to have practically kidnapped Ousmane Dembélé from Borussia Dortmund yesterday and reports suggesting that the Catalans can only afford one mega-money transfer this summer – due to a large chunk of the Neymar money being put back into contracts for the stars already on the books – the chase could very soon be up.
Personally, I’m truly saddened by these developments and do think that this is the beginning of the end for Liverpool and Coutinho but that’s all. If his feelings on the situation don’t change by next summer then he’ll be off to Spain, I’m sure of it, for now though, there’s only one club he’ll be playing for this season and that’s this one.