Barcelona have suggested Philippe Coutinho returns to Liverpool as they look to finally cut their losses on the Brazilian playmaker.
Having shot to stardom at Anfield, Coutinho joined Barcelona in a deal amounting to £142million in 2018. But things have not worked out for him in Spain, failing to recapture the sparkling form he was in for the Reds. He has made just 90 appearances for the Catalan club, scoring 23 goals.
He was also loaned out to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 season. Ironically, he produced some of his best performances since leaving Merseyside with the Bavarians. As well as winning the league, cup and Champions League, he also scored 11 goals in 38 outings.
He even rubbed salt in the wounds by scoring twice for Bayern as they humiliated Barca 8-2 in the Champions League.
But he was unable to keep that up upon returning to the Camp Nou. He managed just three goals and two assists before being ruled out for the rest of the season by a knee injury suffered in January.
As a result, Barcelona are now ready to move him on- and they have a plan to do so. That is according to AS (via the Express), who say club chiefs wish to send him back to Liverpool.
That’s because the La Liga giants still owe the Reds £40million for the player. And, after already splashing out upwards of £100million on him for little return, they are reluctant to spend any more cash on him.
Therefore, they are hoping the Reds will re-sign Coutinho instead of waiting for the remainder of the money owed.
Whether Jurgen Klopp would welcome back the now 28-year-old is doubtful. He is on the look out for a new midfielder following Georginio Wijnaldum’s departure. But, Coutinho is a very different type of player.
The Rio-born star may also have burnt his bridges with Liverpool given the way he forced his way out three-and-a-half years ago.
Summer sale at Barcelona
It is not only Coutinho who Barca want to see leave, with the squad set for an overhaul in the months ahead. In fact, the report states that almost anybody is available if a satisfactory bid comes in.
Jordi Alba could follow Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid, while long-serving midfielder Sergio Busquets could head to Bayern.
Antoine Griezmann, another big-money signing who underdelivered, is also interesting PSG. A return to Atletico also seems to be a possibility for the Frenchman too.