Despite Philippe Coutinho reiterating his commitment to Liverpool this month, reporters continue to ask the questions over a move to Barcelona for the Brazilian.
This time it’s Brazil national team manager Tite who has been asked about a move to the Nou Camp for the 24-year-old.
It must be said that the quotes are nowhere near what the sensationalist headlines have been proclaiming on Friday afternoon.
Tite was asked about whether he thought it would be logical that Barcelona would want the connection of Coutinho and Neymar to play together — who wouldn’t answer yes to that?!
“Yes. Absolutely yes. I don’t want to be pretentious and give an opinion on Barça, but who wouldn’t want a player like Coutinho? That magic, that capacity to invent and create something, that change of rhythm, the way he builds play…”
Which is fair enough.
Asked about the possibility of Coutinho joining Barcelona, Tite said: “Look, if I was Klopp I would fight to make sure I kept hold of him.”
He even states “Just to be clear, I’m talking hypothetically” when saying that “he is the ideal player for Barca.”
Again, fair enough. He probably is the ideal player for Barca. The first part has conveniently been missed by some media reporting the quotes.
Interestingly, Tite says he’s discussed with Klopp about Coutinho’s future role, saying:
“Yes, it’s something we’ve talked about. I even spoke with him and Klopp about the possibility. We need to create alternatives. Of course, there will be doubts. Will he be better-marked in the middle? Will you lose that element of surprise? We will only know when we use him there.”
It’s hardly Tite urging Coutinho to move to Barcelona, in fact, nowhere does he suggest that he should, it’s just Tite answering honestly a direct (and leading) question about whether Coutinho would be a good player for Barcelona to sign, especially given his connection with Neymar.
So yeah, ignore the “Coutinho urged to leave Liverpool for Barcelona” and “Coutinho transfer to Barcelona talked up” sensationalist headlines. Nowhere does he urge Coutinho to sign for Barcelona.
It’s going to be a long summer.