Expectations were sky-high when La Liga giants, Barcelona broke the bank to sign Liverpool attacking midfielder, Philippe Coutinho in the winter transfer window of 2018.
Following the departure of Neymar, the Blaugrana were desperate to add a dash of Brazilian magic into the mix, and Coutinho’s move — albeit overpriced — made sense at the time.
Two and a half years have flown by since the move, but neither the player nor the Catalan club feels content with the way things have turned out.
Premier League giants, Liverpool financed the moves of defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alison Baker with Coutinho’s transfer fee.
The duo, who have since become irreplaceable, led the Reds to the Champions League in the 2018-19 campaign, overpowering Coutinho’s parent club, Barcelona in the semi-final.
This season, the pair have once again bin pivotal in Liverpool’s Premier League challenge, with the Reds standing only a couple of wins away from ending the excruciating title draught.
While Liverpool has thrived on all fronts, Philippe Coutinho has been loaned out to Bundesliga holders, Bayern Munich, following a lackluster campaign in Barcelona.
In the opening few months, Coutinho got the opportunity to spread his wings and started showing flashes of his brilliant self.
His passing, movement, and finishing took a turn for the better, allowing him to rack up impressive performances.
His highest point at Bayern came in December when he produced a stunner in the 3-1 Champions League win over Tottenham and immediately backed it up with a hat-trick against Werder Bremen.
Sadly, his purple patch came to a pre-mature end under new Bayern boss, Hansi Flick, who didn’t spare a thought before pushing the Brazilian down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena.
The midfielder, who has scored eight goals and assisted six in 22 Bundesliga fixtures, is currently nursing an ankle injury and is unlikely to feature in Bayern’s remaining league fixtures.
A return to Liverpool on the cards for Philippe Coutinho?
Philippe Coutinho is set to return to the Camp Nou after the season concludes but is not expected to don the Barcelona jersey in the 2020-21 campaign.
As per reports, both Barcelona and Coutinho have acknowledged the incompatible nature of their marriage and are looking to part ways as soon as possible.
And since Bayern Munich remain uninterested in making his move permanent, a return to the Premier League seems likely.
Leading up to his record-breaking move to Barcelona in January 2018, Philippe Coutinho came across as an unprofessional and impulsive player.
He was so focused on his “dream move” that he forgot to pay the Reds the respect they deserved.
The eventual departure wasn’t handled as gracefully as the parties had hoped, but that doesn’t mean there’s bad blood between the two.
Liverpool boss remains a great admirer of the attacking midfield and probably wouldn’t mind having him at his disposal.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool may not be able to facilitate the move, even at a massively reduced price.
Barcelona reportedly value the player at £80 million but could be willing to let him go for less than half of what they initially paid.
The La Liga leaders are having a hard time managing their books, and getting Coutinho off their wage bill would do them a world of good.
The Reds, on the other hand, recently pulled out of signing RB Leipzig forward, Timo Werner, likely conceding the advantage to Premier League rivals, Chelsea.
And if their recent timid approach is anything to go by, the Reds would take a similar stance with Countinho, as well.
A loan move could be on the cards, of course, but Barcelona would likely opt to cash in at the end of the current campaign.
Liverpool, at this point, look complete but adding a player of Coutinho’s calibre is never a bad idea.
The team’s star forward, Roberto Firmino, has a special relationship with his Brazilian compatriot and would be ecstatic to have the genius of Coutinho back at the club.
The intensity of Klopp’s football can take a toll on Coutinho, of course, but it’d also grant the German coach the option to be versatile, add some extra firepower against gritty opponents.
Liverpool’s financial state would ultimately decide the fate of the player, but a loan move — if it presents itself — should be a no-brainer.
Arsenal and Newcastle United are also reportedly interested in getting the player on their books, but given how much love Coutinho has for Liverpool, he’s likely to push long and hard for a return to the greener pastures of Merseyside.
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