Philippe Coutinho has named Liverpool as his preferred destination.
Philippe Coutinho has spent the last season on loan with Bayern Munich, but the Bavarian giants aren’t interested in turning that temporary deal into a permanent one so Barca are left back at the drawing board.
He played for Munich 34 times during the course of that deal, scoring nine goals and assisting eight and has been left looking at a handful of clubs to take him on.
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ESPN writer Side Lowe said Barcelona want €80 million for the attacker, even in light of COVID-19. That’s around £72 million – a fee you’d think Liverpool would baulk at.
Taking Philippe Coutinho back is a complicated matter. On the face of it, it would seem like an attractive deal. Jurgen Klopp got the Brazilian playing like a Ballon D’or winner and he had the best years of his life at Anfield.
But where would he fit in? Klopp constructed a forward four to make best use of Coutinho as well as Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah – could the same be done now?
Liverpool are an entirely different beast now and having the Brazilian back in the side would make it so much more difficult to stop conceding goals. With Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold pushing down the flanks, the midfield needs to work harder than it did three years ago and can take less risk in possession.
Signing Coutinho back would present financial problems, so maybe a loan deal could offer a solution? But Barcelona are unlikely to be happy with it as it still leaves them with an extensive asset sitting around losing money.
Phil might want Liverpool, but the feeling isn’t necessarily mutual and the terms might not be right anyway.