Like a game of chicken Philippe Coutinho and Liverpool Football Club are seeing who will swerve first, as both player and ownership group made moves that have surely made Liverpool fans sad and angry. It is being reported that Coutinho has put in a transfer request with the club, and at the moment Liverpool’s ownership group is being adamant that Coutinho is not for sale.
When Barcelona decided they could not convince Neymar to stay and agreed to his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, almost immediately rumors began that Coutinho was going to be their back up plan. Earlier this week word trickled out that Liverpool had turned down Barcelona’s buying fee twice, with the second number being around £97 million pounds.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 11, 2017
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted that Coutinho would not be sold this summer, and Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) decided to release a statement stating:
“The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”
Coutinho decided to force the club’s hand by submitting a request for transfer via email. Sky Sports reported via a family member that,
“Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to this situation but to no avail.”
It’s now being reported that FSG has rejected Coutinho’s transfer request adamantly insisting that again he is not for sale. Early Friday in his press conference before facing Watford on Saturday, Kopp doubled down stating:
“I think if somebody, in this case FSG, is saying something like this it is the statement,” Klopp said. “I think I have said it already a few times but maybe that’s not 100% clear.
For Liverpool fans it must feel like a sad state of affairs, at the beginning of the summer transfer period Liverpool management and Klopp insisted they would be spending during the transfer period. So far players like Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk that were main targets have not been signed.
Now Phillipe Coutinho is asking to be allowed to leave despite signing a brand new five year deal in January that had no opt out clause. It also shows what’s become the Liverpool brand. Once the most successful club in England, Liverpool has been overtaken by rivals Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal since the beginning of the Premier League in 1992.
Where once Liverpool routinely conquered on European soil Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus now routinely enjoy Champions League spots while Liverpool has difficulty qualifying let alone lifting a trophy. It’s no wonder when a beloved player like Coutinho hears that Barcelona wants to sign him, he is willing to break his contract.
Coutinho will not be playing Saturday or in Liverpool’s Champions League playoff match with German club Hoffenheim. Klopp has ruled him out due to a bad back and lack of training, but with the transfer request debacle it remains to be seen if Coutinho will ever play for Liverpool again.