Philippe Coutinho back in Liverpool?
With no space at Barcelona and after a somewhat disappointing season at Bayern Munich, the Brazilian creative can return to a home where he was once very happy. But can Liverpool sign him permanently or follow the strategy that Bayern has adopted this season?
BACK TO A PLACE WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN HAPPY …
There is an expression of popular slang that claims that ‘one should never go back where one has already been happy’, however, in the case of Philippe Coutinho this may be the most plausible solution to recover his good football quickly.
The Brazilian attacking midfielder disappointed in his first season with the Barcelona shirt after being hired by astronomical 145 million euros. The expectation was that he could be Neymar’s ideal replacement, but Coutinho never managed to take a stake in the Blaugrana club.
21 goals and 11 assists in 76 official matches are much lower than Neymar and this led to a loan earlier this season to Bayern Munich. In Germany, the ex-Liverpool Brazilian scored 9 goals and 8 assists in 32 matches in a modest record for those who line up in an advanced position on the ground in a club as overwhelmingly offensive as Bayern.
Thus, Coutinho must end his loan to the Bavarians without an option clause in the order of 100 million euros being activated. But without space in Catalonia, it seems that Coutinho will be traded again this summer and Liverpool may already be looking at a player who shone with the Reds’ jersey for five seasons.
Jurgen Klopp is a connoisseur of his qualities and would certainly like to be able to count on another offensive conductor who could alternate or even accompany the offensive trident now composed by Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
NEW LOAN MAY BE MORE LOGICAL OPTION
Despite the likely predisposition of Barcelona to sell the Brazilian player in the next transfer market, the truth is that the recent devaluation of the player will complicate the intention of the club’s managers to sell their assets for an amount that pays a good part of the investment of 145 million euros.
In that sense, Liverpool can bet on a move similar to Bayern Munich by offering around 10 million euros for a one-season loan with a fixed call option at the end of that period. In view of the match made with Bayern (8.5 million + salaries) and with a possible identical match with Liverpool next season, Barcelona could even accept to definitely sell the Brazilian striker for a sum of around 60 million euros at the end new loan.
At least, that seems to be Liverpool’s strategy that would thus be able to verify that the 27-year-old creative medium keeps his qualities intact throughout the season, and only then move on to an acquisition that could amount to a total of 75 million euros. euros, roughly half the value for which he sold the player to Barcelona.
ENGLISH COMPETITION CAN DAMAGE PLANS
Liverpool seem more focused on hiring a versatile striker in the next transfer market with Timo Werner being the preferred target at this point, so the club sees the Coutinho option more as a business opportunity than as a priority target.
To complicate this deal, other English clubs could come on the scene with Tottenham to be a strong possibility given the need for Londoners to strengthen their creative sector after Christian Eriksen left.
With José Mourinho at the helm of a team that is due to undergo a minor remodeling in the summer, it is likely that Coutinho will be one of the names on the table and the Brazilian may even look favorably on this project that may give him more chances to play than in Liverpool.
Manchester United has also been considered as potentially interested in the Brazilian player, but after the arrival of Bruno Fernandes it is unlikely that the Manchester club will bet on a number 10 that restricts the free movement of the Portuguese creative midfielder.
Philippe Coutinho is due to return to English football next season and this will be a golden opportunity to recover the magnificent football he presented in Liverpool that convinced Barcelona to invest a lot of money in his services. Liverpool and Tottenham are the clubs best placed to receive him on loan or permanently, but Barcelona will not want to lose this asset for too low a price. Let the negotiations begin …