FC Barcelona have admitted defeat in their pursuit of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and have accepted he will not be leaving Merseyside.
Liverpool Football Club 1 – 0 FC Barcelona.
The Philippe Coutinho saga appears to be over as reports emerging from the Spanish media claim the Catalan club have admitted defeat in their pursuit of the Brazilian playmaker.
Coutinho was the subject of three mega money bids from the European giants but both manager Jürgen Klopp and owners Fenway Sports Group were adamant that if the no.10 was sold, there would not be enough time to find an adequate replacement. Adequate meaning world-class for those still unsure.
Sunday’s bizarre 7pm deadline imposed by Barcelona after their ridiculous third offer for the player – a total offer of £118m that only guaranteed £82m upfront, with the rest dependent on whether Coutinho won the Ballon D’or, La Liga and the Champions League – was laughed off and ignored by Sporting Director Michael Edwards.
It has become ever clearer, however, that even if the third offer had been £118m upfront in one lump sum, that the club would still have turned it down as they opted to stand fast on their stance that Coutinho will be going nowhere this summer.
Admittedly, however, there are still some hurdles to overcome. The main one being when Klopp decides to reintegrate the playmaker back into his starting XI.
As we know, Coutinho walks into our starting XI when fit and sound of mind but that’s the problem, he currently isn’t. His back injury may have been exaggerated but his desire to leave certainly wasn’t and Klopp’s trust will now have been broken.
It’s been widely reported the Brazilian will not be seen until at least after the upcoming international break, meaning he will miss the Anfield leg of Liverpool’s Champions League qualifying double-header against Hoffenheim, as well as the home clash against Arsenal on Sunday.
Coutinho remains one of our best and most influential players but for now, he’ll be hoping his skill when it comes to apologies are as adept as his skill with a football.