Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce has hit back at contrasting reports in the Catalan media-driven Philippe Coutinho transfer saga and insisted that the player won't force through a move to Barcelona, if the club refuse to sanction his sale.
Despite reports of a Barcelona entourage traveling to Liverpool to seal a deal, Pearce claimed on his Blood Red podcast, as quoted on fan site Empire Of The Kop, that the Reds have had no contact with Barça since an initial offer of £72m was instantly rebuffed, and have not changed their stance that the Brazilian will not be leaving Anfield this summer.
Consequently, the aforementioned rumours of Barcelona delegates being on Merseyside tying up a deal for the former Inter man have been deemed as nonsense, in addition to reports of the player's imminent unveiling at the Nou Camp.
Pearce said: “I don’t think I’ve ever known such contrasting reports. The people at Liverpool are adamant there are no talks now. No change in position.
"There have been no talks since the first bid in Hong Kong which was rejected. I just don’t see a position that LFC can justify selling Coutinho this window. Barca’s confidence stems from having 200 million to burn."
Pearce also added that he doesn't think Coutinho will protest the club's decision to make him stay this summer, although he admitted that the Brazilian would happily go if the move was sanctioned.
"He’s not the type to kick up a fuss and I don’t see him doing so. Its just ludicrous," he said. "He’s kept his council, he hasn’t spoken. If there was a fee agreed, he’d jump at the chance. I don’t think we’ll ever find ourselves with a situation where Coutinho does a VVD [Virgil van Dijk."
What is for certain, however, is that no one seems to know what is happening with the little Brazilian's future at present, although after suffering disappointment in their pursuits of Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk, Reds fan would surely not be pleased should they lose their key man.