Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool he wants to join Barcelona but, rather admirably, will not force a move this summer.
Having spent four years at Anfield, the Brazilian doesn’t want to harm his relationship with a club that ultimately made him the player he is today.
Instead, Coutinho will only leave for Spain if a deal can be struck amicably with Liverpoolwill be a ‘definite starter’ for Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly insisted he will not sell Coutinho this summer, but knowing he genuinely wants to join Barcelona could change his mind.
The fact Barca are prepared to spend up to £120 million, which would make Coutinho football’s second most expensive ever player, could also pay dividends.
With such a vast sum of money, Klopp could buy two world-class players as a means of replacing Coutinho.
Liverpool fans have been calling for the German to make further reinforcements this summer, having only signed Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson.
If they had their way, though, Coutinho would stay to form a deadly attacking quartet alongside Sadio Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino.
He signed a new five-year contract back in January and insisted he had no intentions of leaving Merseyside, no matter how much money was offered.
But that could all change over the next few weeks and now there’s even more reason to suggest Coutinho is on his way to Barcelona.
As revealed by the 25-year-old himself on Tuesday morning, he’s become a Pro Evolution Soccer ambassador and the cover star for Brazil on the 2018 version (see below).
Coutinho wrote on Twitter: “I’m very happy and proud to be on the cover of the best football game ever! @officialpes #PES2018.”
So why could this be bad news for Liverpool? As fans have pointed out, Konami, the creators of PES, have a partnership with none other than Barcelona.
The PES 2017 cover was of Barcelona’s players and because of their deal with Konami, a number of club legends also featured on the game.
Coutinho becoming PES’ new cover star could be a mere coincidence, but it’s interesting nonetheless given the circumstances.
What’s also intriguing is how Neymar used to be PES’ cover star for Brazil, but now he’s left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain, Coutinho has replaced him.
It’s important to note that Liverpool also have a partnership with Konami, but not on the same scale as Barcelona.