So, just when we all thought it was over, we wake up on Wednesday morning to find that Barcelona are planning yet another bid for Philippe Coutinho.
They seem to have a habits of stirring these rumours in the days leading up to or indeed the day of a game for our club, with today’s rumour claiming there’ll be a figure of around £138million offered, £100million of that up-front.
They’re wasting their time. Everyone knows it. I know it, you know it, FSG know it. The FBI probably know it. And yet, they are indeed on the brink of making the offer. It seems clear that the Barcelona board are a group of fully-grown men with too much time on their hands. But from the Barcelona point of view, there isn’t any smoke without fire. Their sustained motivation for the move must be coming from somewhere more than simply wanting Coutinho in their side. It is coming from internal sources.
Now we’re all aware that Coutinho has made his desires to move to Barcelona known. After starting by saying he would be open to the move given an ‘amicable’ deal between the clubs could be agreed, he eventually changed his tune and handed in a transfer request on the eve of our Premier League season. Many big names within the sport have had their say on the situation. Gerrard and Carragher in particular made comments about how Barcelona will be in his ear, claiming it’s ‘now or never’ in terms of a move, making Phil paranoid about missing the opportunity completely. However, it’s clear that the agent is also a massive influence in the story here. The agent perhaps has the biggest incentive of all parties to get a move for his client, because when there’s no move, he doesn’t get paid. Or at least he doesn’t get a fat paycheck as a cut from the fee. And it’s the same with all agents. They’d move their players every 6 months if they could. And with Coutinho, we’re looking at an agent who in particular has abused the power he’s had in his position.
The man in question is Kia Joorabchian. The first thing to know about him is that he’s a massive knobhea- I mean “”honest professional trying to make a living””. He’s one of the most powerful agents in the world and has previously had massive names in football on his books. Most Premier League fans will remember 2007 when Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez both got big, sudden moves to West Ham United. The club were then charged with breaching transfer regulations concerning 3rd party player ownership, which literally directly relates to his involvement in the move.
In 2014, he was directly blamed for SIX Shakhtar Donetsk players going AWOL from the club following a friendly vs Lyon. He personally persuaded the six players not to return to return to Ukraine after the game due to on-going conflict in the country. Lucescu alleged that Joorabchian convinced the players not to return.
“It is necessary to explain what happened,” Lucescu saidon the club’s official website. “It is their agents’ work. A few hours before the kick-off against Lyon, Kia showed up and after the game, at two in the morning, he took our players away.”
So it’s clear for all to see that this man is very persuasive, influential, and overall exactly how most agents are. As much as Coutinho is a much-loved man at Liverpool, it can’t be easy to resist the offers being thrown at you when people like Joorabchian are constantly whispering in your ear, telling you the amounts of money you could be earning and that this is the only opportunity you’re ever going to get.
I, like many, expect Coutinho to stay this summer. The £138million bid supposedly coming in is going to be rejected and come September, Coutinho will still be with us. Will he be hated by the vast majority of our fans? Will he balls. He’ll put in some good performances and the fans and squad and manager will forget it happened. At least until next summer.
Just remember folks, transfer requests don’t burn bridges. Agents do.
By Ben Kelly
Chris gives you the latest on Coutinho HERE