Philippe Coutinho should join Chelsea this summer and not return to Liverpool, according to one former Reds star.
The Brazilian playmaker quit Anfield to join Catalan giants Barcelona in January 2018 for a fee of £142million.
It was a move the 27-year-old largely pushed for but Coutinho has failed to live up to his expectations since moving to the Nou Camp.
He has been sent out on loan to Bayern Munich and has improved playing in the Bundesliga this season, but Coutinho’s future at Barca is in huge doubt.
There have been strong rumours of a return to Merseyside, although Coutinho himself has suggested that is unlikely to happen.
McAteer also believes Coutinho going back to Liverpool would not be a wise move.
Speaking to the Racing Post, McAteer said: “Coutinho served a purpose at Liverpool and was a great player for a period of time – but that time has gone. Selling him was a superb piece of business for the club.
“He would still grace the top clubs in Europe, as he’s showed at Bayern Munich where he’s done okay – but he needs to be the centre of attention. That wasn’t the case at Liverpool and certainly wasn’t the case at Barcelona.”
McAteer went on to say Coutinho should consider going to the Reds’ Premier League rivals Chelsea instead, as he would fit in well as a No. 10 at Stamford Bridge.
He added: “I could see Philippe Coutinho slotting in perfectly at Chelsea, where Frank Lampard is doing unbelievable things trying to reboot the club using a lot of young talent bedding in alongside some experienced stars.
“Coutinho would feel really comfortable in the number ten role at Stamford Bridge with the protection of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and an array of young frontmen around him who would thrive working off him.”
Meanwhile, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has identified Liverpool-linked Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic as an ideal summer signing, according to reports. Read more…