Liverpool fans will perhaps be able to breathe a little easier this evening as manager Jurgen Klopp has gone on record and said that their star midfielder Philippe Coutinho is ‘not for sale’ even though there is reported continual interest from Barcelona.
It is fair to say that the footballing world is all waiting nervously to see if the deal to take Neymar from Barcelona to PSG for nearly £200m does actually come to fruition as if it does then we are going to see something of a transfer market domino effect in the final month of the transfer window.
Quite simply if Neymar does exit the Nou Camp then the question then becomes what happens next and more importantly who will top their list of transfer targets as they then look to feel the huge void that will be left after the Brazilian’s departure.
We’ve seen plenty of column inches over the past couple of weeks saying that it is Coutinho that Barcelona are eyeing up to replace Neymar and it is a move that the player is reportedly highly keen on but with this news coming out of Anfield it may be that those hopes of linking up with the Catalan giants have been killed off.
At the same time though Barcelona are going to have more cash than they know what to do with and ultimately everyone has their price, should they test the water with a bid in the three figures (plus millions) then that may well test Liverpool’s resolve.
They are meant to have rejected a £72m bid from Barcelona earlier in the month and that is before any potential Neymar cash is sloshing about. On the assumption that the gargantuan move to Paris is completed than that would put Liverpool very much in a position of strength.
They know that Barcelona firstly are looking for a replacement and first and also that they have plenty of money to spend therefore they can set their asking price for pretty much whatever they want and that would truly test the resolve of Ernesto Valverde as to how much he and club really desire the 25 year old.
Another key component in all this is whether or not the former Inter Milan man does angle for a move himself, again this may only become more prevalent should Neymar move on, at that point he and everyone else knows that Barcelona has a position to fill.
And without being detrimental to Liverpool for someone of Coutinho’s upbringing a move to Barcelona is arguably the dream move and although he and the club have harboured a very good relationship in the five season’s they have been together, the pangs of the Nou Camp may just be too much to ignore.
Jurgen Klopp is adamant that Coutinho is going nowhere and his message will of course be encouraging to Liverpool fans with the start of the season just around the corner but with a transfer market already in a state of flux, I don’t think we’ve necessarily seen the last of the drama just yet.