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Duncan Oldham: Take the Coutinho money, John! Get rid!

Philippe Coutinho

The one time you’d understand Fenway Sports Group (FSG) cashing in on a player and so far they’ve chosen not to. John Henry and Co. are so terrified of a fans’ backlash that they daren’t give Michael Edwards the nod to cash in but they should and I think they may just do so, despite the public insistence that he’s going nowhere.

£100million plus in cash up front for Philippe Coutinho is a great bit of business. There is something seriously wrong if Jürgen Klopp can’t reinvest a minimum of £100m on strengthening his squad and after last night’s performance, it just shows that we can manage just fine without the want-away Brazilian. However, over the duration of the season there will be injuries so of course, we need to have as many options in the squad as quickly as we can. But is the January transfer window that far away and are you telling me that there’s absolutely no talent out there in the game? What utter nonsense.

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Everyone I know that is somehow connected to the club – and I’m not talking about these self-appointed Twitter ITK Knob Jockeys who think they are – expected Barcelona to come knocking this summer. The preparations for his exit should have been in place for some time. He’s dreamed of that move to Barcelona since before Jürgen Klopp was at the club with his agent having tried to instigate it for years. You could argue that the Reds have tried to strengthen but clubs have refused to sell. So where was Plan B and Plan C? Money talks and that’s why even Everton have managed to conclude their business swiftly.

Virgil van DijkI find it hard to believe that Klopp can only identify one centre-back worth signing on the entire planet and that our only answer for boosting the midfield rests with RB Leipzig. These two players would be great additions to the squad and it’s not Klopp’s or FSG’s fault if they won’t do business. Let’s be honest here, they’ve offered substantial sums of money for both Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keïta. FSG’s ownership may be as exciting as a visit to the dentist but I don’t understand why people are blaming them for the lack of activity, this from a guy that has no faith in them whatsoever. The money is there, it is Klopp who has so far refused to consider other targets, although there is still time, just not much of it.

For those of you who follow me on KopTalk.TV (free), DKB.TV (£ but free to KopTalk Members) and on the members’ website (£), you will know that I expect Liverpool to table fresh bids for both Van Dijk and Keïta. Keïta looks more difficult but I still feel that we can pull Van Dijk off (no homo). And it wouldn’t surprise me if we fall back onto Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the last minute if things go tits up. I believe he’s been holding off on making a decision about his future until he saw if Liverpool secured Champions League qualification which they now have. I don’t believe that he’s received an offer as yet or that he’s been calling the shots and making us wait. He’ll sit down with Arsenal this week.

I have ranted and raved about the various things that FSG have overseen but I will not throw my toys out of my pram if they opt to take the money. For once I’d understand. He is going to leave Liverpool at some point and we may not ever receive that kind of cash offer for him ever again, money that could really make a difference. He’s unhappy and he doesn’t want to play for us. He wants his dream move which is fair enough and I don’t want players at the club who don’t want to be there. I didn’t shed a tear when Luis Suarez left and I won’t shed a tear if Coutinho is moved out either. I care nothing for players who don’t want to play for Liverpool.

Yes, we can make him stay for another season and if he stays, fair enough. Hopefully, a deal with Barcelona would then be inked behind closed doors ahead of a move next summer. I’ve heard this has been put forward by Liverpool and providing Barcelona can’t U-turn on a move if he’s fit and they can’t backtrack on the fee, then I feel this would suit most Liverpool fans and the club. There’s a World Cup around the corner so in theory he can’t ease off but will a player really risk injury knowing one mistake could cost them everything? Would he declare himself available for selection if only 80% fit following a minor injury for example?

There are so many ifs and buts and it’s because of that, that I’d rather FSG took the money. They can tell us how they couldn’t turn down stupid money, which let’s be honest, it is, and they could push all the blame on the shoulders of the player by saying he was a spoilt c*nt who wanted Barcelona more than Liverpool. Ok, maybe they’d need to word it a little better than I would!

Sadio ManéIn fairness to Coutinho, it has been his dream to play for Barcelona, it would be for almost every player in the game and when you consider his background and where he’s from, it’s blatantly obvious why it’s extra special. Liverpool shouldn’t deny him that dream because keeping an unhappy player is fruitless and as Barcelona are no longer taking the p*ss with the way their latest offer is structured, it’s a no brainer to me (and I’m sure they’ll offer even more). Who misses Raheem Sterling? I know I don’t. I wouldn’t miss Coutinho either. On his day he’s brilliant but as yet I haven’t seen enough to justify turning down £100m+ for him. I’m already more concerned about retaining Sadio Mané.

Who isn’t sick of hearing about him? It won’t stop if he stays after August 31st. He’ll be sulking behind the celebrations and his camp will patronise us by claiming it’s all Barcelona’s fault and that they pressurised this fully grown man into handing in a transfer request. Talks of going on strike, threatening to sit in the stands and suggestions that the player can’t stand Klopp will all be denied. The gullible and young Reds will fall for it all and they’ll think that their hero will be with us for years. Urgh. It makes my blood boil. Oh, the fans would welcome him back, even I would have to, but the thought of having to endure it all again next year is already making me want to puke. It’ll be just more unwanted distractions.

I think people who have endured this ramble will be split with my views. Some of you will think we can’t manage without him but some of you, like myself, won’t give a f*ck. I’m not a defeatist, I just don’t think he’s all that and why should we keep someone who is not committed? We’re talking about £100m+ in additional funds for the manager. It’s crazy money and you know what, he ain’t worth it. Send him to Barcelona. I’ll have forgotten about him by September 1st when I’ll be more concerned about the latest series of Narcos without Pablo than Liverpool without Coutinho.

Take the money, John. Get rid! Let’s build for the future. You cannot build for the future when you know someone is going to jump ship as soon as they can. I know how many days of the window are left but I’d still take the money even if we can’t find a direct replacement just now. After last night’s performance, do we even need one? Yes, it was only one game but it proves we can step up. I just feel that the money will help us out long term. We were led to believe that Klopp could identify talent before they ended up costing ridiculous sums of cash. Let’s see what he can do with this £100m+ and we know there’s still [supposedly] another £100m+ left to play with regardless.

I look forward to the last week of the window and I really do hope that Liverpool mug Barcelona off for every pound they can.

Duncan Oldham
KopTalk Editor