Saturday 17 March 2018

Liverpool owners more interested in gold than glory if Philippe Coutinho is sold to Barcelona, says Steve Nichol

The former Liverpool player has warned his old club against selling their prized possession

Philippe Coutinho's Liverpool future remains in serious doubt Getty
Philippe Coutinho's Liverpool future remains in serious doubt Getty

Samuel Lovett

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are more interested in gold than glory if they sanction the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, ex-Red Steve Nicol has said.

The 25-year-old has been persistently linked with a move to the Nou Camp this summer, with the recent departure of Neymar to PSG intensifying speculation that the Catalans are closing in on the player.

Liverpool have so far stood strong in the face of Barcelona's interest, though, having rejected a reported £72m offer for their prized possession.

And Nicol, who played for Liverpool throughout the 80s and early 90s, has urged his former club to hold on to the Brazilian while insisting that his sale would be akin to raising “a white flag” for the coming season.

“Eventually somewhere down the line someone has to say that the good of the club is the most important thing,” Nicol told ESPN.

“This is going to be a defining time for the Fenway group and their ownership. If Liverpool want to win the Premier League they are going to have to keep Coutinho. If they sell Coutinho they are going to have to start again.

“Liverpool fans are going to be absolutely distraught if Coutinho is allowed to go. If Liverpool turn around and say we let him go because he had made his mind up, he wasn't happy, don't give me that. It's nonsense.

“I want to hear that we want to have a chance of winning the Premier League and we're keeping our best players.

“If you sell him then get the white flags out. Somebody turn the lights out because it will be another 25 years before we win the Premier League.”

Reports now suggest that Barcelona are willing to offer more than £100m for Coutinho after failing in their initial attempts to the sign the player, but Nicol has pleaded with his old club to prioritise success on the domestic and European stage over money.

“I understand when Fenway Sports Group came in that Liverpool financially were not great,” he added.

“But they have sorted all that out. They are making plenty of money.

“Now surely the ambition of the club should be to at least challenge for the Premier League title and then step up and do something in the Champions League again.

“When you are selling your best player every time you get an offer for them that's not ever going to happen.

“How are they going to find somebody as good as him? What's the point of having money in the bank if you can't spend it?

“If they sell Coutinho it doesn't look like they are interested in the glory.”

(© Independent News Service)

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