FanView: Why Liverpool Fans Would Rather See Coutinho Go Anywhere But Barcelona
After weeks of the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga rumbling on, with the Brazilian making a very public push to get his move to Barcelona, it now looks as though the Reds have stood firm and will be keeping their man for at least a few more months.
While there still remains a chance that Liverpool's number 10 could get his dream move if the potential transfer of Thomas Lemar from Monaco to Merseyside goes through, there will be a significant contingent of Liverpool fans still wanting to keep the 'little magician' at Anfield, despite his desire to leave.
Regarding his push for a transfer, few could've blamed Coutinho for wanting a move in the transfer windows of the past. However, now Liverpool have re-established themselves as a club that can compete in the Champions League and potentially challenge for the Premier League title, the timing of Coutinho's push for the exit door is somewhat galling.
To submit a transfer request via email on the eve of Liverpool's first Premier League game of the season, the lack of respect on display beggars belief. All told Liverpool are the club that salvaged the career of young Coutinho, his talents wasted and stagnating at Inter Milan back in 2013.
Though it takes two to tango, and the charm offensive that has been exercised by Barcelona has understandably riled up the supporters of Liverpool. From bids being submitted on the days before Liverpool play so as to unsettle the team, to Pep Guardiola allegedly being sent by Barca to meet Coutinho and sell him on the idea of becoming a legend for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona charm offensive in full swing. They sent Pep Guardiola to meet Coutinho last week to sell him the dream of becoming a Barca legend— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) August 11, 2017
The way in which Barcelona have acted throughout this transfer window, not only in their pursuit of Coutinho, but also in their attempts to lure Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, the Catalan outfit have disgraced themselves, attempting to bully other clubs so they can have things their own way.
The fact that Barcelona once maintained such a squeaky clean image in the days before Josep Bartomeu only serves to make their recent behaviour that much more upsetting.
It is for these reasons that many Liverpool fans would rather avoid doing business with Barcelona at all costs, even if it meant the club took in less money from the transfer. It may seem petty, but many will view their stance as a mater of principle.
Should Liverpool sign an adequate replacement for Coutinho, be it in the form of Thomas Lemar or someone else, letting the Selecao star leave wouldn't leave such a foul taste in the mouths of fans.
The Catalonian giants have hamstrung Liverpool in deals previously, taking Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez away from Anfield at cut-rate prices, they attempted to low-ball the Reds on their first and second attempts of signing Coutinho, and that is what makes Liverpool's hard stance in this instance so refreshing.
While, it is always the goal of a football club to squeeze as much money out of a transfer as is reasonably possible, Reds supporters wouldn't mind taking a minor financial hit on the sale of Coutinho, so long as it meant Barcelona didn't get their man.
Should Phil get his wish for a transfer away from Liverpool, fans will be hoping that if he will be sold to anyone, it will be a rival of Barcelona's, be it Real Madrid or Paris Saint Germain.
While it may be petty, if a scenario arises whereby keeping Coutinho at Anfield becomes impossible, anything that can unsettle Barcelona the way they have attempted to unsettle Liverpool will be classed as a win.