Barcelona to give up on Philippe Coutinho deal

After making three increasingly attractive bids, Barça seems to now have accepted the fact that Coutinho will not be joining them during this window and that their best bet at replacing Neymar lies within the transfer of Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembélé.

Reuters

Barcelona’s transfer window has been one of the most hectic in the club’s history. The club initially started with a heavy rejection from PSG regarding the transfer of Marco Verratti, before then losing one of their key players to the same team only weeks later, with Neymar joining PSG for a record sum of £200 million. The club’s targets then suddenly became more expensive, with clubs from all around Europe raising their player’s price tags when in talks with Barcelona, knowing that their interlocutor was resourceful and was in ‘desperate’ need for their target. This made some targets such as Dybala unavailable, and now Coutinho too expensive or indispensable to Liverpool.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Fenway’s Sports Group statements already said a week earlier that Coutinho would remain a Liverpool player by the end of the window no matter the amount that would be paid. Today’s market proved with the Barça example that unless a clause was to be triggered, no amount of money could force a club to accept an offer, no matter the level of discontent that would be associated with the decision regarding the player concerned. It seems as though now, the biggest challenge will be to reintegrate Coutinho to the team that he wanted to leave so badly.

As for Barcelona, their offers have been arguably small when looking at the resources they had and the situation they were in. Despite the situation calling for desperate measures, Barcelona still chose to put themselves in a position of advantage as if they were the ones making the rules, therefore calling an ultimatum on Liverpool and asking for a reply regarding their final offer of £118 million by Sunday evening, 7pm. The offer would not even be considered and blatantly ignored by the Reds, which would then infuriate Barcelona and reportedly force them to give up on the Coutinho saga and focus on the Dembélé option before it is too late.

The offers made for Coutinho were increasingly attractive, yet it is arguable that their final one was not nearly as good as anyone would expect it. Surely, on paper, £118m could seem like a ridiculous amount of money. But when considering the fact that there isn’t a player on par with Coutinho available on the market, and that even if there was one, his price would subsequently exceed that of Coutinho due to the selling club being in a favorable position… This offer just seems ‘average’, to say the least. Because this offer would really only be £82m guaranteed to be paid in four instalments, and that the remaining £36m would be add-ons implying Ballon d’Or wins and Champions League trophies, which was deemed too ‘unrealistic’ by Liverpool. It seems as though now, it is all about. Dembélé and Barça for those final days of the transfer window.

Najib Guiti is the man behind the curtains, as well as the founder of the eponymous news website; he has written for various different news outlets in the British, American press and has had a successful career in football news reporting, mostly through his influence and presence on social media. He aims to integrate statistics in the sport whilst keeping his analysis focused on the non-quantifiable parts of the Game such as tactics and playing style.

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