Former Liverpool star Steve McManaman wants Everton to work wonders by signing Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho this summer.
Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has the chance to take his side further by qualifying for Europe this season. While Champions League football is out of the question, a seventh-placed finish – and Europa Conference League matches – is not. The Blues need to get at least a point against Manchester City on Sunday and Tottenham must lose to Leicester.
In any case, Ancelotti has shown signs of progress this term with solid additions to his team. Centre-back Ben Godfrey has enjoyed a fantastic campaign, while Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan have added mettle to the midfield.
Further forward, James Rodriguez showed flashes of his talent earlier in the campaign. However, he has dropped off of late, playing only 78 minutes in five Premier League games.
Nevertheless, Coutinho is a similar type of player to James and could offer Everton another spark going forward. His time at Barcelona turned sour with a loan to Bayern Munich last season. This term, meanwhile, he picked up a serious knee injury.
McManaman does not expect Everton to land the Brazilian but admits that the former Liverpool man would be a fantastic signing.
“A lot of my mates are Evertonians, I’ve got nephews that are Everton season ticket holders, if you’ve got those types of players who can produce that type of magic, I’d love to see him here, back in the city of Liverpool playing for the Blues,” he told horseracing.net.
“With his type of football, you would always encourage him to want to play. You know he’s not playing at the moment for Barcelona, you’d like him to play because of what we’ve seen before.
“I would be astounded if Everton could do the deal and pay his wages to be honest with you, unless he takes a monumental pay cut, I would be very surprised.
“I would be very surprised if he could come to a club like Everton in the city of Liverpool and they pay that type of money but he’s a fantastic player, he’s not playing enough in Spain, he didn’t play enough last year when he won the Champions League at Bayern Munich.”
Coutinho has enjoyed brief spells of form at Barca. On the whole, though, he has struggled to replicate the impact he had at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp.
McManaman calls for Coutinho game time
“He needs to play football,” McManaman added. “He might have to take a huge pay cut and Barcelona might have to take a huge hit on their transfer and let him go somewhere where he’s able to play, and if that happens to be Everton I’d welcome him.
“Like James Rodriguez, those types of players you want to see.”