Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho could reportedly be on his way back to Liverpool, with the European champions open to taking him back to Anfield this summer.
According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, as carried by The Sun, reigning European champions Liverpool are considering the possibility of re-signing former playmaker Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona in this summer transfer window.
Coutinho had a memorable spell at Liverpool, having joined the club from Serie A giants Inter Milan in January 2013. During his five-year stint with the Merseysiders, the 27-year-old playmaker made 201 appearances, netting 54 goals and assisting 45 more, establishing himself as a firm fan favourite at Anfield and one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
However, the Brazilian international forced a move away from Liverpool in January 2018, earning his dream move to La Liga champions Barcelona. The £142 million switch to Camp Nou hasn’t really worked out all too well for Coutinho, however, as he has struggled to live up to the expectations placed on him after his big money move.
Coutinho managed to score and assist just five goals apiece in his 34 La Liga appearnaces, failing to make the most of Ousmane Dembele’s injury-enforced absence to establish himself as a regular in Ernesto Valverde’s side. The 27-year-old has been on the receiving end of constant jeering from the Barcelona supporters.
And, as per the report, the La Liga champions have also grown frustrated with the Brazilian’s lack of impact and have decided to cash in on him in the summer. With uncertainty surrounding his future in Spain, there had been reports of interest from Premier League giants Manchester United, but the midfielder put an end to those speculations.
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to be interested in signing Coutinho this summer, especially with rumours of Neymar’s return to Barcelona mounting with every passing day. And now, as per the report from Sport, Liverpool too have entered the race, as they ponder over re-signing the 27-year-old.
After a spectacular 2018-19 campaign that saw Liverpool lift the UEFA Champions League trophy and miss out narrowly on the Premier League title, manager Jurgen Klopp is intent on boosting his attacking ranks ahead of the upcoming season, as he looks to push for multiple honours next term.
Despite boasting one of the most feared attacking tridents in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, Liverpool lack that bit of quality from the bench, with Xherdan Shaqiri not quite impressing in his debut campaign at Anfield, while Daniel Sturridge has left following the expiry of is contract.
Liverpool were heavily linked with LOSC Lille’s Nicolas Pepe, while the report adds they had their eyes on Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio as well. However, with Real Madrid demanding Sadio Mane in exchange for the Spaniard, Jurgen Klopp has turned his attention towards his former protege Coutinho.
Despite the manner of his exit, Coutinho, who won the Player of the Year award twice at Liverpool, could be welcomed with open arms at Anfield. Barcelona though, will want to recoup most of what they paid to sign him eighteen months ago. It remains to be seen if the Reds do decide to press ahead with their interest in the Brazilian.