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Liverpool unmoved by Coutinho’s transfer request

Barcelona now expected to return with a third bid for the unsettled midfielder

Philippe Coutinho: emailed his transfer request to the club as he pursues a move to Barcelona. Photograph: Dave Howarth/PA

Philippe Coutinho: emailed his transfer request to the club as he pursues a move to Barcelona. Photograph: Dave Howarth/PA

Liverpool’s resolve to keep Philippe Coutinho remains intact despite their anger at the Brazilian’s attempt to force a move to Barcelona by emailing a transfer request. Coutinho’s demand to leave was rejected by Liverpool as relations soured between the playmaker and club on the eve of the new Premier League season.

The Brazil international emailed a transfer request yesterday to Liverpool’s sporting director, Michael Edwards, in direct response to a statement from the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, that he will not be sold this summer.

Barcelona have had two bids of €79m and €100m rejected for the 25-year-old in recent weeks and are expected to return with a third in light of Coutinho, who signed a five-year contract in January, agitating for a transfer.

The Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, and club officials are seething over a move that has overshadowed the start of their season at Watford.

Coutinho is unhappy that FSG has refused to negotiate with the Spanish giants over a possible transfer and publicly stated he will not be sold at any price in this window. Equally there is anger on the club’s part that Coutinho submitted a transfer request having been told in face-to-face meetings with the owners and Klopp that such a move would not be entertained.

The FSG president, Mike Gordon, held talks with the Brazilian last week in Munich, where Liverpool were competing in the Audi Cup, to reiterate the owner’s determination to keep him at Anfield.

Klopp had a similar conversation with the player in Hong Kong after Barcelona’s opening bid was dismissed, with Coutinho and his agent, Kia Joorabchian, being made aware of FSG’s resolve throughout the summer.

Liverpool’s owner went public with that resolve yesterday when it issued a statement that reflected what Klopp has said repeatedly about Coutinho’s future.

“We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho,” it said. “The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and that he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes.”

Coutinho retaliated a few hours later by emailing Edwards. A “family friend” of Liverpool’s No10 was then quoted by Sky Sports News as saying: “Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to the situation but to no avail. He has tremendous love for the club and its fans but, like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suárez have pointed out in the past, Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms.”

Back injury

The transfer request caught Liverpool completely by surprise given their conversations with Coutinho and the fact that, while expressing a wish to join Barcelona, he had not agitated for a move before the FSG statement.

The player reported as normal yesterday to Melwood where he received treatment on the back injury that has ruled him out of the Watford opener and possibly Tuesday’s Champions League play-off first leg against Hoffenheim. Liverpool expect him to act professionally despite having the transfer request rejected.

At a press conference to preview the Watford game, held before Edwards’ inbox received Coutinho’s email, Klopp admitted: “I can’t keep players happy” but later expressed confidence his prized asset would not push for a transfer.

The manager said: “I have known him for 20 months and that’s the only thing I can say about this [he wouldn’t agitate for a move]. There is actually nothing else to say about it. The player is not in team training. I don’t go to the medical department every day and ask things like that. It is completely normal. Nobody comes to me every day and says: ‘Oh my God! Phil!’ We speak about the injury. That is all.”

Klopp also reiterated his belief that Barcelona moved too late in the transfer window for Liverpool even to consider selling Coutinho.“

“Talking in general, I had to sell a lot of players in my managerial career. Some had clauses, some had no clauses; we had the Lewandowski thing and that was difficult when he went to Bayern on a free transfer. A lot of different things.

“The only thing I can say about this is that in life everything is about timing – whichever club asks early enough. It’s like how we do it. If we ask early enough, we try to do it. If you ask early enough, you can either switch the plan or whatever. But you cannot come up close to the start of the season with things like this.

“The club is bigger than anybody. That is the most important thing. It’s about doing it in the right moment. It’s how we do it when we want to bring players in. It is about timing. That is how I understand. And that is all I have to say. Maybe everybody has a price – in the right moment. In the wrong moment? No price.”

3 Comments

  1. tonystep:

    I hope the club sticks to their guns, he trains away from the first team, transfer window closes then he’s integrated back into the first team with his tail between his legs and hopefully with an apology to the club and supporters and a huge point to prove so he can go next year for even more money, exact what we did with Suarez.
    Oh and to his so called family member who’s spreading all the shit around about ‘Phil loves the club and fans’ and only wanted to leave if it was handled amicably who’s saying our club doesn’t allow players leaving amicably, what the hell is he or she going on about? Suarez and Stevie know about the club not letting players leave so easily and couldn’t do the deals in good faith, what a load of BO@&+*KS, Suarez still loves our club even after we made him stay an extra year, Stevie never really wanted to go anyway and look at some of the other big players we sold on to the big 2 in Spain, Mascherano, Xabi. All left the club amicably with respect and still love LFC to this day?? So that knobhead doesn’t know jack shit about anything. So FSG tell him he’s going nowhere 100% banish him and make him train with the youth teams until the window closes, then he can beg for forgiveness, get his head back together and rejoin the group and have a blinding season helping us with the quadruple. YNWA 4EVER

  2. aldogs:

    This stinks of a meddling agent pure and simple. He stands to benefit no doubt and will desperate to crowbar the player out the club. Someone needs to get a grip of the agents, what right has he got to negotiate a deal for our player without the club’s permission. I’m not one bit surprised by all this and don’t trust FSG one bit, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is an elaborate ruse to sell in a played they spent 8 million on for a huge profit. This benefits them more than anyone else as it makes them look 100% committed to the club’s success and not a bunch of money grabbers. I bet this will get far worse and they will turn round and say “we had no choice, the player didn’t want to play for us” the player gets his move, they come out of it looking alright, win win.
    We are being played like a banjo.
    I’m not adverse to him going, £130 cash would convince me to sell. I’d go and blow the lot on deli Ali. There are plenty of players that could fill that roll, the only problem is we don’t seem to be able to negotiate our way out of a wet paper bag right now. I’m not convinced it’s cus clubs don’t wanna sell, I think it’s because FSG are money balling us and are not going after anyone considered an ‘A’ listed star player. They are searching for players they can make a sell on profit with. They are useless owners and I’d like to see them gone more than anyone else.

  3. tonystep:

    Here here we’ll said


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