9 Oct 2015

Great News: Agent confirms 'genius' £41m attacker wants to play for 'Liverpool' not Madrid

Earlier this week, Spanish newspaper Diario Sport claimed that Real Madrid were in contact with the Agent of Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho, but according to the Brazilian's agent, there's no chance of a deal taking place anytime soon.

When asked this week about Coutinho's future, Kia Joorabchian dismissed the current transfer speculation:

"Reports that I have been talking to Real Madrid about Philippe are not true.

"Philippe is extremely happy at Liverpool. His aspirations are to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy. That is all that he is focussed on, and nothing else.

On the surface, this appears to good news, but in many cases, public comments from agents are not worth the air into which they're uttered.

In this case, Joorabchian is hardly going to admit publicly that he's trying to broker a deal behind Liverpool's back, and Madrid aren't likely to contradict him.

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Madrid have instructed Joorabchian to try and persuade £41m-rated Coutinho to quit Anfield.

The Spanish club is notorious for shady transfer practices, and Steven Gerrard confirmed this yet again in his recent autobiography, wherein he explained:

"They [Madrid] wanted me to kick up a war to get out of Liverpool for a certain amount of money, which I wasn't prepared to do. When they're after a player they have the attitude of 'we're Real Madrid, you should fight to come to us".

Coutinho - labelled a 'genius' by John Aldridge - may be happy right now, but there's one specific threat on the horizon with the potential to cause unhappiness: Roberto Firmino.

* Klopp tried to sign Firmino during his Dortmund days, so it's clear he rates the Brazilian attacker.

* Like Coutinho, Firmino's best position is number-10, and if Klopp plays his preferred 4231 formation, there's only room for one number-10.

* Klopp will almost certainly be aware of Coutinho's inconsistency, and he may decide that Firmino is his first-choice for the number-10 role.

* If that's the case, Coutinho will have to make do with a wide role in the team, but given the intense competition for places, there are no guarantees.

Coutinho is an automatic starter at the moment, and if that changes under Klopp, it could push him right into the welcoming arms of Madrid or Barcelona.

I just don't see how a balanced Liverpool team can consistently accommodate both Coutinho and Firmino. With both in the team, one or the other will constantly be played out of position, and that's not an effective long-term strategy.

Example formation:

Clyne ------ Skrtel ---- Sakho ------ Moreno

-------------- Milner - Hendo

----- Sturridge - Coutinho -- Firmino

----------------- Benteke

A strong team, but is everyone playing in their most effective positions?

Author: Jaimie K


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