Newcastle United could make a move for Barcelona attacking midfielder, Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian looks set to leave the Catalan giants in the summer, with several clubs interested in signing him.
Mundo Deportivo have reported that the Magpies’ potential new owners are keen on securing the signature of Coutinho. He will be reportedly available for £71 million in the summer transfer window. The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United are also interested in the former Liverpool player.
Philippe Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, but the German club does not intend to sign him on a permanent deal. The Brazilian’s current deal with parent club Barcelona expires in 2023.
Philippe Coutinho: The number 10 Newcastle need?
Coutinho’s spell at Barcelona has been nothing short of disappointing. When he joined the La Liga side in 2018, he was one of the most exciting attacking players in Europe, thanks to his heroics with Liverpool. But, after a solid start, his level of performances saw a steep decline, and he does not seem to have a future at the club.
The Brazilian is a player with loads of flair and is dangerous in the final third, thanks to his dribbling, passing and shooting ability. He would be a huge signing for most Premier League sides, thanks to his vast experience in the English league.
Newcastle United have been linked with moves for several top-class players in recent months including Gareth Bale. Their takeover is expected to be successfully completed in the coming weeks and the new prosperous owners have been backed to make a big statement in the transfer market upon their arrival. Coutinho could well be one of the marquee signings for the club and could be the focal point of their team.
But, for that to happen, the club will have to change their formation, as well as their style of play which they are sure to do if they land the necessary personnel.
In the ongoing 2019-20 season, the Magpies have used a very defensive structure with a 5-man backline, and have heavily relied on the counter-attack or set-piece situations to get goals. They will have to throw that tactic into the trash bin and use a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-1-1 set-up if they sign Coutinho. The Brazilian’s dribbling and innovation in attack could allow the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin or Miguel Almiron to get more opportunities in the final third.
There are some doubts over his steep decline since leaving England but the unsettled nature of the Barcelona squad in terms of tactics and personnel and the magnitude of expectations could have played a part in the player not fulfilling his proven potential in Spain.
Philippe Coutinho would still be a brilliant signing for the Magpies, and one that could be a key player around whom a new Newcastle United team is formed.