Come May, Philippe Coutinho will probably have a La Liga and possibly a Copa del Rey winners' medal. He cannot play for Barcelona in the Champions League as he is ineligible, but two — even one — medal would be welcome because they would be the first club honors the Brazil midfielder, 25, has won. Coutinho didn't win a single trophy during his five years at Liverpool or three years with Inter Milan.

The transfer of Coutinho from Liverpool was inevitable because Barcelona and Real Madrid always get their man as they remain the two clubs whose offers cannot be refused. Once they have a player in their sights, as the Merseysiders found with Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez to Barca plus Xabi Alonso to Real, it is only a matter of time before Liverpool is swapped for La Liga.

It is difficult to deny a player his wish to move to either of the true heavyweights of world football where winners' medals are as good as guaranteed and from a business viewpoint the sale of Coutinho for £142 million made sense. It is a massive profit from five years ago when Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers in charge, paid Inter Milan £8.5 million for the midfielder after former manager Rafa Benitez, then coach of Inter, recommended him to his former club.