The prospect of Philippe Coutinho returning to Liverpool has been given the thumbs up by Roberto Firmino.
Coutinho wants to end his miserable stay at Barcelona after his blockbusting move there in January 2018 turned sour.
TEAMtalk have been told by an Anfield insider that Jurgen Klopp has recently spoken to the player. Coutinho, he was told, was more than eager to come back and would take a pay cut to do so.
Liverpool used cash from Coutinho’s sale to sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker. And those additions turned Klopp’s team from pretenders into contenders. It allowed them to lift the Champions League last June, while they are also set to be crowned as Premier League champions this month.
Liverpool confirmed they are lacking some financial firepower by pulling out of a potential deal to sign Timo Werner. The Germany forward now appears bound for rivals Chelsea.
Whether the funds could be found to finance a deal for Coutinho remains to be seen. But a loan move remains a possibility, with the chance to make it permanent further down the line.
Should he make the return to Anfield, the move is sure to be welcomed by fellow Brazilian Firmino. And he dropped the smallest hint about his return by liking a post on Instagram discussing the prospect.
— Anfield Annie (@LFCAnfield19) June 14, 2020
Barcelona reportedly value Coutinho at £80million. But so keen are they to get him off their wage bill, they may accept just £44.5m.
That has alerted a number of Premier League suitors such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle.
But if reports are accurate, it seems Coutinho only has eyes for Liverpool.
Nicol wants Coutinho back
Talk of Coutino’s return has been addressed by former Reds defender turned pundit Steve Nicol.
And he told ESPN he’d more than welcome his return.
“Absolutely. Why wouldn’t you?” he said.
“I can’t think of one reason why you wouldn’t. The only place he’s excelled at is Liverpool. The place loves him, he loves the place.
“Can you imagine adding Coutinho to a squad that right now are still champions of Europe and are going to win the Premier League?
“You’re going to add a player with the ability of Coutinho, who is going to come in and be in the same situation as a Timo Werner for example, where he is there to fight to get in the starting XI.”
Nicol, however, says the signing would have to be on Liverpool’s terms.
“If it’s cut-price, yeah. Listen, this guy’s making over £13m clear a year. He’s going to have to take a hit,” said Nicol.
“The price to buy him is going to have to take a hit. But if the money’s right, [it’s an] absolute no-brainer.
“If the money’s right, this would be absolutely fantastic for Liverpool.”
Meanwhile, it’s claimed Klopp wants to sign a Wolves star Ruben Neves after losing patience with a Reds man. Read more here.