Why Barcelona won’t get their way with Coutinho or Dembele

Ben Talintyre Roar Pro

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    Hasn’t it been some huge days of real and fake news surrounding Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to Barcelona?

    Yes, it is true that he has handed in a transfer request to leave Liverpool. It has also been confirmed that this request has been declined by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group.

    For Barcelona, they have continued their pursuit of Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele but so far to no avail, and it looks unlikely either deal will occur despite both players reportedly being very keen on moves to the Catalan Giants.

    At the current moment Barcelona are starting to feel the pressure of transfers not coming to fruition. This is rare for a club that are known to throw their weight around and secure their top targets year in year out.

    So why is it different this time? For a transfer window that still has over two weeks to go it has been very eventful. PSG have thrown around their limitless money and power to secure Neymar for a world record fee. Reports coming out have also suggested that they are on the verge of signing Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for over €100 million (A$150 million) as well. He is set to be unveiled as early as Sunday.

    Dembele, one of their main targets, tried to push through a move, but it has failed and left him being suspended from Dortmund training and games. The difference between him and Coutinho is that they have specified a €150 million fee that, if met, will trigger his release. Barcelona are unwilling to match this and therefore Dortmund have turned down lower bids, saying they don’t reflect his “talent” and “worth”.

    Barcelona have over €200 million from Neymar but are not willing to overspend on their targets and are being met with strong resistance from both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool. Just hours before Coutinho handed in a transfer request, FSG came out and said he would not be sold for any price and will remain a Liverpool player at the end of this transfer window ending 31 August at midnight UK time.

    (Image: Dave Howarth/PA via AP)

    Following his urge to leave, the club and manager Klopp have reiterated that he will not be held despite his desire to leave, stating it is too late to replace a player like Coutinho.

    Klopp has said, “It is about timing, maybe everybody has a price – in the right moment. In the wrong moment? No price”.

    With big games ahead and a crazy schedule featuring Champions League qualification – and with a good start to the EPL season vital – it couldn’t come at a worse time for Liverpool and their fans. What needs to be understood is that there is no release clause that could be triggered, and Liverpool have every right to hang on to Coutinho.

    The World Cup is less than a year away and Coutinho will be aware that he must secure regular football in order to make a strong Brazilian team, so by declining to play for Liverpool would be a reckless move on his part.

    So what will happen with Coutinho? Most likely he will stay for this season or at least until January, when he will likely be sold if his desire to leave remains. However, as a Liverpool fan it is a hard pill to swallow when the player who you have built your team around wishes to leave.

    Unfortunately this could put Liverpool’s title hopes back another couple of years, like it did when Suarez left. This situation is very similar, and what many people forget is that he tried to push a move through to Arsenal the year before he was sold to Barcelona. In that year Liverpool almost won the Premier League, with them letting it slip right at the end.

    The latest reports coming up are that Barcelona are becoming increasingly desperate to fill the void left by Neymar and have turned attention to Tottenham’s Christian Erikson. But Barcelona yet again will struggle to land this target, who recently signed a four-year contract extension. He would likely command in excess of €100 million, and that is only if the club is willing to sell.

    Other reports have linked Ivan Perisic and Angel di Maria. There is still a long way to go in this transfer window, with many more revelations and drama.

    What do you think will happen with Coutinho and Dembele?