The Barcelona-Philippe Coutinho saga has hit a new high, or low, as Nike advertised Coutinho as a player for the club. Liverpool fans were not amused by the advert, and fears of the player leaving have once again increased.
Nike is the Barcelona kit manufacturer, and despite the Brazilian playmaker being a Liverpool player, the sportswear giant raised eyebrows and made Liverpool fans red in the face by stating Coutinho was a Barcelona player.
According to the Liverpool ECHO, Nike’s website had a listing that read: “Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou.”
When asked about the new twist in Coutinho’s future at Anfield, manager Jurgen Klopp said, “he couldn’t be less interested”.
Liverpool fans have every right to be angry over the advertisement as it seems like more tapping up from the Spanish club. Barcelona unsettled the Brazilian during the summer, which caused Coutinho to hand in a transfer request. The midfielder has since been welcomed back into the side and is having a tremendous season for Liverpool. Coutinho has seven goals and six assists in 14 Premier League games.
Following Liverpool’s dramatic 2-1 win over Burnley on Monday, Klopp was asked about Nike’s faux pas in advertising a Barcelona-Coutinho shirt.
“I heard about it,” Klopp said. “I can’t tell you about it though because for different reasons I couldn’t be less interested in anything in the world.
“But somebody told me and I thought ‘wow! Top story!’”
Liverpool are believed to be demanding an “astronomical fee for Coutinho, according to the ECHO. The fee is thought to be more than before the Nike shirt advertisement.
Despite not starting the season in the Liverpool XI, Coutinho has been a constant points scoring in Fantasy Premier League. His 103 points has him third in the Liverpool team. If the Brazilian was to leave the Premier League, it would greatly effect sides throughout FPL. Managers would need to find a way to fill the gap in points his departure would create. There may be no way to fill it.