We’ve already had one example this week of terrible timing when it comes to players angling for a move away what with Danny Rose all but asking for a move from Tottenham on Thursday, that will have undoubtedly thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to Mauricio Pochettino’s preparation and Liverpool will have similar issues of their own.
That is because Philippe Coutinho has now officially handed in a transfer request as he looks to swap Anfield for the Nou Camp before the end of the month. Many had lauded Coutinho for going about his business in “the right way” but that praise may well be removed after the actions of the Brazilian this afternoon.
What makes the transfer request all the more remarkable albeit not unexpected is the fact that just hours before Liverpool released a statement in which they said the former Inter Milan midfielder had at no point asked for a move away from the club.
I guess it’s funny what a couple of hours difference can make as now have been landed with somewhat unpleasant surprise. The Reds rejected a bid of 100 million euros (£90m) from Barcelona for the 25-year-old earlier in the week but does this now put the Catalan giants in a position of strength.
Now that Coutinho has officially asked for a move it weakens Liverpool position as they now have a player who no longer wants to be at the club and should they keep him at Anfield against his wishes then it could start become a very messy situation.
What the Liverpool board need to do now is aim to get the possible price for the player and also look to source a replacement before the end of the transfer window. The longer they drag out this potential saga then the harder it will be to bring someone else in.
That said from Liverpool’s point of view although there may well be a behind the scenes acceptance that Coutinho will eventually go they will probably be best suited in buying his replacement first before letting the player swap the Premier League for La Liga.
There are perhaps some parallels in this and the potential move for Virgil van Dijk as both players have now handed in transfer requests and that will very much set the wheels in motion for any potential moves. If anything it is the perfect example of the football transfer hierarchy.
Liverpool will look below and more often than not that means going to Southampton for a new signing or two but at the same time they are still vulnerable to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and when those two come calling, it is very hard to say no. Both as a player and as the club aiming to keep hold of their most prized assets.
This transfer request will not have any bearing on whether or not Philippe Coutinho plays against Watford as he was set to miss out with a back injury anyway but the fact that off pitch matters will overshadow whatever goes on at Vicarage Road will not be the ideal situation for Jurgen Klopp.
Neither will seeing one of his key men publicly reveal that he wants to leave the club, it has not been a particularly great transfer window for Liverpool in comparison to their title and Champions League rivals but it could be about to get a whole lot worse.