Philippe Coutinho is pushing for a return to the Premier League with Barcelona willing to offload in a cut-price deal – but any potential return to Liverpool looks entirely out of the question.
The Brazilian completed what looked like a dream move to Barcelona in January 2018 for £142m. However, his time in Spain has not gone to plan. And crippling debts means Barcelona are desperate to move the player on.
The Catalan club are currently reeling after losses of €437m for last season. That resulted in the departure of the legendary Lionel Messi, with PSG snapping him up as a free agent.
Since then, Gerard Pique has reportedly taked a huge wage cut allowing Barcelona to register three new signings.
However, that is not the end of their problems and Coutinho looks to be the next big name out the door.
As per reports, Barcelona have informed Coutinho that he will be allowed to leave this summer. Furthermore, they don’t even want a financial commitment from his any would-be suitor. Indeed, they reportedly want to sanction his loan exit – and will cover half his wages too.
The Sunday Express picks up the story in more detail. They state his agent Kia Joorabchian is being charged with securing the player’s next move.
It’s reported Coutinho has once again been offered to former club Liverpool too. However, they state Jurgen Klopp has no desire to be reunited with the Brazilian – even under his vastly-reduced terms.
They claim Klopp’s system is no longer suited to the 29-year-old and he has no wish to intergrate him back into his side. And it seems Joorabchian has been informed once and for all that an Anfield return is simply not in their thinking for Coutinho.
Indeed, the Reds are instead said to be focusing on a deal to bring Renato Sanches to Anfield. Should they add to their squad before the window shuts, the Lille star is the man they look most likely to sign.
That follows news that another return to Merseyside has been slammed shut for Coutinho. That’s after Rafa Benitez’s Everton also seemingly closed the door on a move.
However, the report does name three other Premier League sides who may yet be enticed by Barca’s proposal. They state the agent has offered the playmaker to Wolves, West Ham and Leicester. That’s amid claims that a return to England is now the player’s priority.
Coutinho move considered
Of the three, it’s perhaps a move to Leicester that looks most likely.
He was first brought to the Premier League by Brendan Rodgers and a reunion may well be on the cards. Whether the Foxes could afford his wages though remains to be seen, even at Barcelona’s vastly-reduced terms.
But the quality of a player like Coutinho could prove the difference for Leicester. They have finished fifth in two successive seasons, missing a Champions League place on the last day both times.
West Ham, meanwhile, are also looking to add quality to their squad as they embark on a return to European football.
Jesse Lingard excelled in the attacking midfield role under David Moyes last season. And with a deal yet to be secured to bring him back, the Brazilian could prove an option for the Hammers.