Everton are one of the clubs believed to be interested in signing former Liverpool favourite Philippe Coutinho when the transfer window reopens.
The playmaker has struggled for consistency since leaving Anfield for Barcelona in January 2018, and has spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich after being deemed surplus to requirements with the Spanish giants.
He has enjoyed some success with the German champions, scoring nine goals and assisting a further eight in 32 appearances in all competitions, however he won’t be offered a permanent deal by ‘Die Roten’.
Therefore, the 27-year-old will be on the search for yet another new club at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, and has reportedly been offered to a number of Premier League clubs who are ‘ready to welcome’ him back to England.
Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea have previously been linked with a move for Coutinho, but Spanish outlet Sport (as cited by Sport Witness) have stated that Everton could be set to make a surprise move for the Brazilian.
The report states that although no direct contact has yet been made, Goodison is a possible destination for the Rio de Janeiro-born player whose agent has ‘knocked on many doors’ of Premier League teams as he looks to find his client a new contract.
Should the deal go ahead, it would be quite a statement from the Toffees who will be looking to kick on under manager Carlo Ancelotti as he takes charge of his first full season.
A player of Coutinho’s quality, who scored 41 goals, assisted 35 and developed into one of the most dangerous attacking outlets in Europe during his time in the top flight of English football, would undoubtedly help the Blues take the next step in their progression.
Able to play on the left wing or in an attacking midfield role, Coutinho could replace Bernard, who is thought to want to quit the Merseyside club, or be an upgrade on Gylfi Sigurdsson after the Iceland international’s disappointing campaign.
One stumbling block in any potential deal could be Coutinho’s history, with the report suggesting that he has already knocked back Manchester United’s interest due to his past with Liverpool.
That could mean he has a similar attitude towards joining their Merseyside rivals, who he scored three goals against during his time with the Reds.
Meanwhile, Everton could face competition from Manchester United for Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez with the Red Devils reportedly interested in including him in any deal that would see Paul Pogba head to the Santiago Bernabeu.