Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had reportedly rejected the opportunity to sign Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho this summer.
According to MARCA, Barcelona had offered Manchester City the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho this summer. The Spanish giants were seemingly keen on offloading the Brazilian star in lieu of funding a return for Neymar. City are believed to be among the clubs who were offered the opportunity to sign Coutinho.
However, manager Pep Guardiola wasn’t interested in the services of the former Liverpool star. As a result, he ended up moving to Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal. The Bavarians have paid €8.5 million upfront and have agreed to a clause that will enable them to sign the attacker permanently for a fee of €120 million next summer.
Manchester City were reportedly keen on signing a new creative midfielder in the summer transfer window as a potential long-term successor for David Silva. The 33-year-old has confirmed he will leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, after completing ten years with the club.
Coutinho, in that regard, could have been an excellent signing. The Brazilian international prefers playing in the role that Silva reprises, a role that he was not deployed in much during his stay at Barcelona. As a result, he could have been a viable target for Guardiola.
From a tactical perspective, Coutinho has the ability to carry the ball around half-spaces. And given his technical prowess, he could have easily gelled with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva in the Manchester City attack. But, most importantly, he had the exposure of playing in the Premier League, having made 152 league appearances for Liverpool.
That means Coutinho could have been a less risky option when compared to other probable targets for Manchester City including Isco and Bruno Fernandes, neither of whom are familiar with the fast-paced nature of English football.
For now, Manchester City have a lot of creative options upfront, including Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian international is steadily improving under Guardiola, and it is only a matter of time before he becomes a key component of the City attack.
As for Coutinho himself, he has gotten off to a pretty good start at Bayern Munich. The 27-year-old impressed in his debut against Schalke, which was followed by an excellent display in the emphatic 6-1 win over Mainz. He could, in fact, be the answer to Bayern’s attacking problems following the departures of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben at the end of last season.