Barcelona’s pursuit of Philippe Coutinho is no secret. Several bids in the summer were rejected the Brazilian playmaker stayed put at Liverpool.
But that has not put Barcelona off attempting to lure the midfielder away from Anfield. It is widely accepted that Coutinho is keen on the move, but got over his disappointment in the summer and has played excellently for Liverpool this season so far. He’s even worn the captain’s armband on occasion.
However, it seems that a deal between the clubs for Coutinho has been agreed after last night Nike mistakenly announced the transfer on the Barcelona section of their website.
Under a banner describing Barcelona as “Where the magic happens”, the website posted a link to buying Barcelona shirts with Coutinho’s name printed on the back, saying that the midfielder is “ready to light up Camp Nou.”
Kit manufacturers are not often involved in transfer announcements – aside from Pogba to Manchester United – and neither club has announced any deal for Coutinho yet. Someone at Nike is probably getting a massive bollocking as you read this.
So is the transfer going to happen? Was it premature publication of the inevitable? It certainly got a lot of Liverpool fans discussing life after Coutinho.
Right, here's my position with Coutinho. Some of his antics in the summer (emailing a transfer request the day before the season started, blaming Klopp for him wanting to leave, leaking things through his family etc.) *really* turned me off his attitude as a footballer.
— Si (@PhantomGoal) December 31, 2017
Liverpool did of course recently announce the signing of Virgil van Dijk for the hefty fee of £75m. If the sale of Coutinho is agreed, which would likely be for a fee north of £100m, especially in January, it explains why the Reds were so ready and willing to spend so much on Van Dijk.