January is going to be a busy month for Liverpool.
After already announcing the £75m signing of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, the Reds face the troubling task of keeping star playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
The little Brazilian was involved in perhaps the most prolonged transfer saga of the summer, with Barcelona having three massive bids rejected for the former Inter Milan man.
Eventually, Liverpool saw off their advances, but the general consensus is that the Blaugrana will eventually get their man.
In recent weeks, reports have suggested that the move could come to fruition in the winter window, despite the fact that Coutinho would be cup-tied for the Champions League if he were to switch allegiances.
And, fuel was added to that fire by Nike on Saturday, when it was seen on Twitter that the sporting brand were advertising the Brazilian as a Barca player.
Safe to say, people were losing their minds a bit over it.
TWITTER LOSES IT OVER NIKE & COUTINHO
Did Nike just leak a Coutinho to Barcelona deal?!?!!? pic.twitter.com/RkxBN7U8oz
— Brody Logan (@BrodyLogan) December 31, 2017
LOOOOOOOL on the official Nike website – bye bye Coutinho. pic.twitter.com/FMKbWLmxzD
— 🇮🇪🔌 (@PreeAaron) December 31, 2017
This graphic promoting Coutinho as a Barcelona player is on the Nike website…and when you type his name into the search engine on the site, it takes you to the Barca section! Even if he’s going, that’s bad form #LFC pic.twitter.com/7qPFAYtLyf
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) December 31, 2017
😳 The official Nike website states that Coutinho will become a Barça player pic.twitter.com/LprL68hx5m
— Leo Messi (@messi10stats) December 31, 2017
To everyone who says Nike's website got hacked, it's not just the English site. You really reckon the hackers translated that Coutinho line perfectly to all languages?
— Henrik Lehmann (@henriklehmannn) December 31, 2017
It certainly looks mighty suspicious.
Keeping hold of Coutinho for at least until the summer would be a huge bonus for Liverpool, particularly after his stunning form of late, with his two goals against Bournemouth and Swansea typifying his undoubted ability.
Mohamed Salah maybe running riot in front of goal – he has 17 in the Premier League – but without the Brazilian, Jurgen Klopp’s attack would look a lot less potent.
After Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester at Anfield, the manager responded to claims that they would have to offload the Brazilian in January.
KLOPP ON POTENTIAL DEPARTURE
“Nobody told me that. I have no information about that. No.
“We have good player and we don’t have to sell anybody because of that.”
“The only thing I will say and the only thing I am interested in is how is Phil playing at the moment,” said Klopp.
“That is what I am interested in because all the rest I can’t, and don’t, want to talk about because if I open the door then you run all the way through. If there is something to say you will know.
“In my business it makes absolute no sense to talk about things that ‘could’ ‘maybe’ happen because all it does is create stories which 90 per cent of the time are not true. Why should we do that?”