Have Barcelona made a fourth bid for Philippe Coutinho? Does he want clear-the-air talks with Liverpool? Does anyone know?
Frankly, we are not sure. So it’s about time we took a look at all the reports on Coutinho’s future from Wednesday morning.
And there is no better place to start than The Sun, who will obviously have the inside track on a Liverpool story because the Scousers absolutely love them and someone is bound to risk their reputation by leaking information to the newspaper. Definitely.
Charlie Wyett goes big on the exclusive that Barcelona will ‘launch a final £136million bid’ for the Brazilian.
They claim that the offer is comprised of an initial guaranteed £100m fee, as well as £36m in add-ons. Those clauses are that for every time Barcelona qualify for the Champions League over the next four seasons, Liverpool receive £36m. Why not just pay the extra bloody £36m now?
This claim differs slightly from (and comes just hours after) Sky Sports and their sources reported a fourth bid. They say the offer is £101m up front, with £37m in add-ons. Who misheard their source then?
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) August 23, 2017
But not everyone insists that a fourth bid is in the offing. The Daily Mirror say no such offer is on the table, and that Coutinho ‘has begun to make conciliatory noises’ at Anfield. Quite what they sound like, we do not know.
The Independent go one further: They report that ‘Coutinho wants clear-the-air talks’ with Jurgen Klopp.
Ed Malyon reports that Barcelona have been ‘surprised’ by Liverpool’s ‘resolve’ in negotiations, and are now ‘sounding out’ alternatives. That list includes Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri, but also Christian Eriksen of Tottenham.
‘The Independent understands that the player and his representatives are ready to admit defeat and will look to talk to key Liverpool figures to smooth over the summer’s events. People within the 25-year-old midfielder’s entourage are pointing the finger at Barcelona for manipulating their client and have suggested the Nou Camp club used family members to provide additional pressure. They insist the ill-conceived email was Barca’s idea.’
All that does indeed correlate with Tuesday’s claims from Spain that Coutinho’s camp is blaming Barcelona for the ordeal.
It also directly contradicts these claims from Sky Sports‘ Spanish expert Guillem Balague:
1. FCB are very aware LFC are not selling but have been asked by Coutinho to give it a last go. FCB don't want Coutinho upset for future pic.twitter.com/vHrxrIOxro
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 23, 2017
Conclusion: No-one knows.