Philippe Coutinho recently signed up with a new agent who could turn out to be a worrying factor for the Reds as he is reportedly taking rapid strides in ensuring his client earns a big money move away from Anfield this summer.
Liverpool’s talented Brazilian playmaker, Philippe Coutinho has employed the duo of Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci to become his new agents. The Brazilian wing of Goal.com claims that having roped in the much sought after midfielder to his clientelle, Joorabchian’s primary aim is to secure a big money move for the Reds’ sensation.
Having already attracted the interest of the big clubs in the past few months, the appointment of agents largely looking to cash-in on the Brazilian’s popularity may not exactly bode well for Liverpool. TheHardTackle takes a look into the duo and discusses where Coutinho’s future could be at the business end of the transfer window.
Who are Coutinho’s new agents?
Bertolucci is dubbed as ‘one of the most influential Brazilians in European football’. He has brokered a number of deals with big European clubs for Brazilian football players. He was instrumental in bringing in the likes of Willian, Alexandre Pato, Marquinhos, Alex, Kenedy and Paulinho among others.
Joorabchian is a former founder of Media Sports Investment, the institution that infamously brokered the deals that secured a move to West Ham United for Argentine superstars, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. He isn’t a licensed agent and is what the FA labels as an illegal ‘third-party investor’. The Iranian-born British and Canadian national partners with Bertolucci in all his endeavours and the two together are known to have a collective pool of almost 50-60 players plying their trade in the European football circuit.
Liverpool’s Coutinho has been linked with an Anfield exit all summer since the end of the 2015-16 season and throughout the course of his dismal Copa America campaign with Brazil. PSG and Barcelona expressed their interest in the talented midfielder with the Parisians even reportedly submitting a £45 million bid to lure the 24-year old to the Parc Des Princes.
Despite expressing his desire to stay at Liverpool, there is every chance Coutinho could have his head turned by the sales patter of Joorabchian and the interest from the big guns of European football.
Could lack of trophies push Coutinho towards Anfield exit?
The ‘little magician’ has made no secret of his desire to win trophies and compete at the highest level for Liverpool. However three trophy-less campaigns later, the Brazilian may well be tempted by the prospect of silverware at bigger clubs. Coutinho last won a trophy during his time at Inter Milan when they took home the Club World Cup under Rafa Benitez. However the 24-year old concedes he didn’t fully enjoy the success of winning the trophy back then because of his lack of contribution to the cause.
Coutinho has been in brilliant form for Liverpool and a complete sweep of the end-of-season awards for two years running is testament to his development at Anfield. However the one thing missing from his locker is major trophies which Liverpool have seemingly failed to offer since the Brazilian’s arrival at the club in 2013. Having last won a trophy in 2012, the Reds came agonisingly close to securing the Premier League in 2014 and endured two cup final heart-breaks in the Europa League and League Cup under Klopp in the 2015-16 campaign.
Despite the growing interest for his signature, Jurgen Klopp’s penchant for trophies is a factor that may keep Coutinho at Anfield, even if just for one season. Nine months into his job, the German boss guided an inherited Liverpool side to two cup finals which goes to show the extent of success he can bring with a squad built by him. He has also made an impact on Coutinho’s performance who had a rather rusty start to the season under Brendan Rodgers before hitting his peak under Klopp.
Do Liverpool have reason to worry?
Players these days consider agents to be their right-hand men and there has been enough evidence of agents influencing players’ transfers in the past, with Liverpool’s sale of Raheem Sterling last summer a prime example of that. Aidy Ward had his then 20-year old client’s head turned by the prospect of higher wages that Liverpool refused to offer the youngster. It eventually resulted in the agent managing to influence a £49 million sale of Sterling to big-money giants Manchester City.
Coutinho has recently stated that he is happy at Merseyside having settled down to life at the club and enjoys the adulation and attention he gets from the club and fans. However, with an influential Bertolucci reportedly prioritizing the transfer of Coutinho, the Reds may just have reason to worry over the future of their ‘little magician’.
The 24-year old put pen to paper on a contract extension last February, that will see him as a Liverpool player till 2020 but his agent may have other plans lined up. With Klopp in-charge, Liverpool still harbour strong hopes of seeing Coutinho take the field for them next season. The only other way the Reds can ensure they hold on to their man would be another bumper contract that would see an upgrade on his existing earnings at the club.