Coutinho Emailed Sporting Director With Transfer Request
Liverpool’s assertion that Philippe Coutinho is not for sale at any price is being challenged by reports claiming that the Reds will accept a fee of €150million (£135million) from Barcelona.
Coutinho lodged a transfer request at Anfield on Friday less than two hours after a statement by the club’s owners FSG said that he would not be sold at any price.
Liverpool initially denied receiving the transfer request until it later emerged that Coutinho had emailed sporting director Michael Edwards with a formal request to leave the club.
He is also believed to have addressed the issue of his current situation telling Edwards that he believes the club are being unfair in refusing to sell him to Barcelona. He said that he has always been respectful to the club and done his best to make the side better. But he added that he has the greatest opportunity of his life at Barcelona and it is one he wants to take.
But Friday’s events have put recent events under the microscope and only highlight just close Coutinho is to the door at Anfield.
Crucial to all this is manager Jurgen Klopp. He has stated all along that Coutinho is not for sale. But it has emerged that the relationship between Klopp and Coutinho isn’t good and it hasn’t been for some time. Members of the Coutinho family let it be known on Friday that the Brazilian is frustrated at his role in the team and that problems have risen between the player and Klopp over the past six months.
There is also the insistence that Liverpool haven’t met with Barcelona. However, there is more than one way to skin a cat and negotiations have taken place this week between the two clubs. While the Catalan media have highlighted the presence in England of three senior officials from Barcelona, Liverpool have tried to play it down. Talks have taken place during which Liverpool have put a price tag of €150million (£135million) on Coutinho.
Coutinho won’t play for Liverpool in their opening game at Watford today. A back problem is being given as the reason. But reports from Catalunya claim that he will make his final appearance for the club in the first leg of their Champions League play-off round tie with Hoffenheim in Germany on Tuesday. Then fresh talks over a move can begin.
But any further appearance for Liverpool looks unlikely following Friday’s events.
As for Barcelona, a successful conclusion to the Coutinho saga could lead to them dropping their interest in Dembele. Despite having banked €222million in the bank from the sale of Neymar they cannot afford both – especially as Dortmund will also demand €150million for the sale of the Frenchman.