Nike announced the Brazilian’s imminent arrival at the Nou Camp on their website and were even marketing the opportunity to buy Barcelona shirts with Coutinho’s name on it.
The advert, which was quickly removed, read: ‘Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou. Get your 2017/8 FC Barcelona kit with the Magician’s name on it. Act fast – free personalisation only available until January 6.’
Liverpool are reportedly furious over the bizarre development, which hasn’t been explained by Nike or Barcelona.
The Premier League side had already taken a hard-line stance on Coutinho, rejecting three bids in the summer with the last worth £115million.
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The Telegraph report that Liverpool will now demand an ‘astronomical’ fee for the 25-year-old before they even consider selling.
It’s thought the club are more open to the idea of letting the player leave than they were in the summer, but only on their terms.
The player, who has been in exceptional form recently, is keen on a move to Barcelona.
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