PUT something up for sale and you will depress its market value; insist you’re not parting with it at any price and someone may well test your resolve by offering more. It is one of the oldest tropes around and it is alive and well today. Witness Liverpool’s two-sentence statement on Friday.

“We wish to offer clarity as regards our position on a possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho. The club’s definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the transfer window closes.”

Liverpool have already turned down bids of £72 million and £90m from Barcelona who, of course, are looking to plug the Neymar-shaped hole in their line-up. Predictably, since the Catalans have £199m available courtesy of Paris St Germain, potential targets won’t come cheap. Perhaps equally predictable, when faced with such a clear-cut statement, Coutinho emailed Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and asked for a move.

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In some ways, it is a re-run of what happened four years ago with Luis Suarez. At the end of the 2012-13 season, the Uruguayan striker announced he wanted to leave the club. Liverpool rejected a £40,000,001 bid from Arsenal, apparently designed to trigger some sort of covert release clause which may or may not have existed - and issued a similarly categorical statement that he was going nowhere. Suarez threw a strop, was sent to train on his own and then quickly did a 180 degree turn. He signed a new contract - one with a £65m release clause - stuck around for another season, winning the Footballer of the Year award and then moved to Barcelona the following summer.

Liverpool media were peddling the notion that this is a similar situation. But there are key differences. Coutinho extended his Liverpool deal only six months ago. Sure, the club could give him a new deal with a release clause, but such clauses are designed to favour the player, offering an “escape hatch” at a reasonable price. Biting aside, £65m for Suarez was reasonable for what was a rare commodity at the time: a free-scoring hard-working centre-forward. But when you have already turned down £90m, what’s a viable clause for Coutinho? Pitch it high - say, north of £100m - and you run into a problem. The number of clubs able to approach those numbers shrinks to a handful. Real Madrid and PSG are already teeming with attacking midfielders. Barcelona, you would presume, will have found a replacement by then. Coutinho is a wonderful footballer, but he hasn’t approached Suarez-like production at any stage of his career. Next summer, he turns 26. Unless he has the sort of monster campaign Suarez had in 2013-14, it is hard to see anybody offering nine figures for him.

This is where psychology and emotion come into it. There’s a “money-ball” logic which suggests you wheel and deal right now. Sell Coutinho, buy Naby Keita (if you can - Leipzig are facing the exact same problem, with the difference that Keita has a release clause which kicks in next summer, so they know they will get less for him in 2018) and take a run at Virgil Van Dijk or some other defensive upgrade. Sell Mamadou Sakho and you will end up roughly netting out. What is more, you will have players who are a better fit for Jurgen Klopp’s system and who actually want to be there.

There is also the reality that, if Coutinho doesn’t get his way, he will probably buckle down and shift his focus back squarely on Liverpool, so the fall out won’t be so bad. And there is the pride at not being a “selling club” (whatever that means).

More than most clubs - with their “transfer committee” and “analytics gurus” - Liverpool have depicted themselves as a “rational” club in an often irrational industry. There is a price at which it makes sense to sell. The only question is whether Barcelona will meet it and whether Liverpool are as rational as they would have us believe.

MEANWHILE, further south, Danny Rose did not request a transfer but he may as well have. The Tottenham left-back gave a carefully timed interview with The Sun during which he expressed his frustration at the club’s lack of big name transfer signings (or, as he put it, players who “you didn’t need to google”). He also talked about how he felt underpaid, how many of his team-mates felt the same way and how a footballer’s career was short and he probably only had “one big contract” left in him.

Spurs were not amused. He was fined two weeks’ wages - £130,000 - and Mauricio Pochettino joked that folks probably needed to google him too when he arrived in England.

You can understand where he is coming from - and, indeed, he voiced concerns many players have but are reluctant to share - but, equally, you wonder what sort of parallel universe he inhabits. (Maybe the same one as The Sun who helpfully suggested he could earn “two or three times” as much - that is, £200,000 a week - at Chelsea or Manchester City.) This is a player who signed a five-year deal with Tottenham less than a year ago. Nobody forced him to do so, if he thought he was worth more than £65,000 a week, he should not have put pen to paper. Or, at the very least, he could have signed for less money and demanded a release clause in exchange.

He may be an England international - with his 12 caps - but he is still Danny Rose. A guy who started all of eight top-flight games for Tottenham before his 23rd birthday. A guy who has been injured and played zero minutes of competitive football since January. A guy who missed more than 40 per cent of Tottenham’s league starts in the last four years, after supposedly becoming a regular. Sure, Kyle Walker - who has the same agent - went for £50m and Rose reckons he is as good and perhaps even better. But Walker also has more than twice as many caps and, crucially, didn’t miss half of last season through injury. And, in case Rose missed it, most observers felt Manchester City wildly overpaid for his services.

Rose apologised and Pochettino welcomed him back. If the interview was meant as a “come and get me” plea, it may or may not have worked. But it is a reflection of how ungrounded in reality some footballers are.