Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez admits that due to the fact that Philippe Coutinho hasn’t got a release clause in his contract, it will be difficult to sign him this summer.
While Coutinho might hate to hear it after handing in a transfer request, if Liverpool continue to refuse him his move to Barcelona, there is nothing the La Liga club can do to change the situation.
The Brazilian willingly signed a new contract in January but the deal does not include a release clause which means that unless Liverpool choose to sell him, he is forced to stay at the club for at least another year.
And Barcelona know this. I take a good deal of pleasure in the fact that the Catalan club were torn limb from limb by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup as their biggest rivals beat them 5-1 on aggregate.
They’re not doing so well in the transfer window either as Roberto Fernandez, the club’s sporting director has conceded that Liverpool hold all the cards.
“Not just Barca but any team looking for top quality players are getting involved in a very difficult situation in this market,” Fernandez said.
“Why? Because the market is where clubs like us want to sign top quality players. There’s no buy-out clauses so that makes things trickier.
“Yes, we are negotiating with clubs to make several signings, but in all awareness of the difficulty. We need to work our way into a favourable situation and hopefully close these deals as quickly as possible.”
Just going on the transfers that Barcelona have completed, the Spanish side isn’t going to be as strong as they have been in recent years. Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, signed from Guangzhou Evergrande is the most notable signing so far and that says a lot.
Fernandez continued, “Dembele and Coutinho are two important players that we like a lot and have done for a long time. They have the conditions, the right age and could adapt to our football. They would be good to have here. That’s the reality.
“With respect to Liverpool and Dortmund, when there are negotiations you need time, you need to work things into a favourable situation for players and ourselves.
“We still have days ahead of us, would like to move things faster, but do admit they’re two players we would like here. But it’s the clubs who will have the final say on if we finally achieve those two transfers.”
To make matters worse for Barcelona, Luis Suarez has been sidelined with a knee injured that the Uruguayan suffered in the Super Cup.