In what could be one of the shocks of the 2019-20 summer transfer window, Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho could return to Liverpool in a sensational move a year and a half after making his way to Barcelona. Calciomercato are reporting that Barcelona are willing to let the Brazilian leave the club on a two-year loan deal with an option to buy him for £88 million.
The report further goes on to state that Barcelona are not too keen on the offer though and want a club to buy Coutinho outright rather than take him on loan. A possible swap deal with Paris Saint-Germain that will see Neymar move in the other direction is also something which has been mentioned. Coutinho’s agent has revealed that Barcelona are not willing to sell the 27-year-old Brazilian at the moment though.
Coutinho moved to Nou Camp from Liverpool for a fee of £105 million in January 2018 but has had a horrendous run with the Spanish champions which could see him leave the Catalan giants prematurely. Barcelona are interested in bringing back Neymar to the club but they will have to sell a few players to generate funds to make the deal happen, as well as balance the books after the Antoine Griezmann transfer which cost Barcelona €120 million.
Does it make sense for the Reds?
Liverpool certainly need to strengthen their team to challenge on all fronts and once again try to win the Premier League, while also competing to retain their Champions League trophy. The Reds have a fantastic front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane, as well as several options in central midfield which makes the Coutinho situation a little tricky.
If bought for a price tag of around £88 million, manager Jurgen Klopp will be expected to play Coutinho whenever he’s fit, which will be a problem. The German manager could have an unhappy squad on his hands if he drops one or two of his star players to accommodate Coutinho.
The other big question is whether Coutinho is still the player that he was when he left Liverpool and if he can be as influential. The Reds have shown that they can have a brilliant season without the Brazilian and it leaves us wondering if he will actually make a big impact at Anfield if he returns. The Brazilian will have to regain his confidence to once again have an impact on the pitch but for the moment it looks like a tricky business which the Reds will do well to steer clear of.
Instead, Klopp should focus on strengthening the depth in the attacking areas, especially the flanks, and decide on Origi’s future and whether he wants a more flexible option as Firmino’s competition.