Wow, only 7 months ago Philippe Coutinho sat alongside Liverpool manager Jurgen Klpp for the photogs after putting pen to paper on a new 5 year deal at Anfield. Only, 7 months!!!
"I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it's a great honour for me," Coutinho relayed to the press. "It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day."I am very thankful to this football club for everything."
Way back in January, this seemed like a real move of genius by Liverpool as interest from Barcelona was continually growing at the time. Let's face it, it was no secret that Barcelona were coming for him. The kicker is that not only did they sign him, they did so without any buyout clause in his contract.
Finally they had learned that they had to be aggressive in order to alleviate themselves of an issue they had been dealing with for years now. That is the long list of world class players they have seen leave Liverpool in recent times.
Even though we are coming down to the last days of the transfer window, Coutinho and his future at Liverpool are still up in the air.
Barcelona have now tried and failed with three bids for the former Inter Milan playmaker -- the most recent being an offer worth an initial £82.3 million potentially rising to £119m -- and Coutinho has not kicked a ball for Klopp's team this season due to a back injury that is showing little sign of clearing up.
It may seem like Barcelona are desperate but Klopp and Liverpool do have a problem on their hands. Coutinho submitted a transfer request by email earlier this month and hasn't played a minute this season due to a nagging back injury that shows no signs of resolving.
Klopp continues to insist they are not interested in selling what is widely accepted as their best player. This being said, we have been here before with this club and the next 10 days should be very interesting to say the least.
This is what they said about Luis Suarez, and then it wasn't.
The next year it was Raheem Stearling that would not be sold, and we know what happened. a $55M transfer to Man City.
In case of Suarez he had literally carried the club on his back to almost lift the trophy in 2013-14. They loved him and he gave his all. The exit was a setback but the Kop had his respect.
Stearling on the other hand forced his way out of the club, stating he had higher ambitions. Coutinho may fall into the same basket if he really wants to push the envelope in his quest to play at Camp Nou.
Coutinho has already strayed into dangerous territory with the fans with the speed of his change of heart since January, so even if he stays beyond the Aug. 31 transfer deadline, will he have the appetite to regain their affections?
Possibly Coutinho and his advisors have planned it this way. It will be harder to for Liverpool to keep him if the supporters turn on him.
Liverpool are trying to do everything keeping in the manner of a club that one of the biggest in football.
They have said all the right things about keeping Coutinho, so now they must be as good as their word.
Otherwise, Coutinho will simply join the list of star players who have built a reputation at Liverpool and then cashed in to "win things" elsewhere.
Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Suarez and Sterling have all left for big clubs, with arguably only Torres having given Liverpool his best years.
Who can blame Coutinho for wanting to spend his prime years with a proven winner, and let's be honest, a much bigger club.
Liverpool have only won a single major trophy in 10 years. Ouch.
Are their glory days behind them? If Liverpool do not find a way to keep their best players we can almost surely say yes.
They may have held onto Coutinho for now but how does it look when the player clearly wants to leave?