Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has noted that Coutinho’s move to Barcelona shows how he could be powerless over Manchester United target Harry Kane leaving the club.
The Brazilian became the second most expensive player of all time after completing a £142m deal to join Barcelona on Monday.
Kane has also attracted interest from Spain after topping the goalscoring charts for 2017 with 56 goals and Man United, according to reports, have emerged as the most likely club to rival Real Madrid for his signature.
And Pochettino, speaking over the weekend, admitted that Coutinho’s big money move away – in spite of Liverpool insisting they wouldn’t sell – shows that Kane could indeed follow suit in the summer.
“It shows how difficult it is to keep players. Liverpool is one of the best clubs in history, in the world, and look when Coutinho or a player like Coutinho wants to leave, how difficult it is to keep your best player,” he said.
“I think Liverpool wanted to keep him but it is difficult to keep him, and look what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester, Zidane with Juventus, Figo with Barcelona. There is a lot of examples that it is so, so, so tough for everyone to keep your best player if the player in some moment turns their mind and says “now I want to leave”.
“If another club pay the type of money they pay, like it was with Barcelona and Liverpool, how you stop it?”
Any club with the required financial muscle would want to sign a player who, ever since 2014, has virtually guaranteed goals on a regular basis, churned out like some Fordist production line without fail.
And you get the feeling that Madrid will be almost impossible to challenge in pursuit of Kane. They didn’t spend any big money last summer and have slipped down to fourth in La Liga this season, rendering a squad overhaul – and a replacement for Karim Benzema – somewhat necessary. Kane will most likely be on top of their list and Florentino Perez tends to get exactly what he wants.