Philippe Coutinho No Closer to Barcelona After 'Fee Agreed' Claims Are Shot Down
The Philippe Coutinho/Barcelona saga appears no closer to being resolved on Wednesday despite claims on Tuesday night that Liverpool had accepted a bid totalling €120m after add-ons for the Brazilian maestro, billed as Neymar's replacement at Camp Nou.
That agreement story came from ESPN Deportes, while Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo had already suggested that a Barcelona delegation including Raul Sanllehi, the same man who was central in the 2014 Luis Suarez negotiations, was in Liverpool to conclude the deal.
But as was the case with Real Madrid's pursuit of David de Gea being played out very publicly through the Spanish media, it appears that the loud Spanish claims of an imminent deal for Coutinho, a player Liverpool are desperate not to sell, are premature.
Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol tweeted on Wednesday morning that there has been no official approach from Barcelona to Liverpool for several weeks since an opening enquiry.
Liverpool have received no further contact of any kind from Barcelona about Philippe Coutinho since original enquiry almost 3 weeks ago— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 9, 2017
"Liverpool have received no further contact of any kind from Barcelona about Philippe Coutinho since original enquiry almost 3 weeks ago," he stated.
Unlike in the De Gea saga, where Real Madrid or people within the club were believed to have 'leaked' details to the media to put pressure on, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague claims that Barcelona haven't had anything to do with 'false' Coutinho rumours.
He places the blame for such stories on click-hungry media rather than the club itself.
Yet Barcelona do at least still appear confident of making the player theirs sooner rather than later, with BT Sport's Andy May tweeting that the club is already sending emails to offer television coverage of a hypothetical unveiling as soon as Friday.
It is entirely plausible that, in the murky world of football transfers, Barça could have been making progress on a deal by solely talking with Coutinho's representatives before presenting Liverpool with a firm offer, which would fit with Solhekol's version over the lack of an approach.
But regardless of the player's status, any deal will still hinge on Liverpool's acceptance. And, as things stand, that appears not to have happened at this stage.