Barcelona will reignite their interest in signing Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in January, according to reports.
The Brazilian was among the top transfer targets of the Catalan club over the summer but failed to have any of their substantial bids accepted by the Premier League side. According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona are now planning a £120 million offer to Liverpool for Coutinho’s services in January.
Last season the 25-year-old had his most productive campaign in England, scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists in his 31 Premier League appearances.
Following the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, Barcelona were strongly linked with a move for Philippe Coutinho but were simply priced out by the Reds. Though they did sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund as a direct replacement.
However, I believe that if Barcelona make an offer of £120 million for the player in January that Liverpool should accept. Here is my reasoning behind that:
Philippe Coutinho hasn’t shown season-long consistency throughout his career. Though the numbers from last season look great, most of them were recorded at the start of the campaign, before slowing down a lot after Christmas.
Even though the Premier League TV deals mean the clubs are rich beyond their wildest dreams and that Liverpool are competing in this season’s Champions League, meaning they’re very wealthy – £120 million is not to be sniffed at.
Liverpool have between now and January to agree a deal with his replacement, meaning they won’t be ripped off for any targets should they sell the player first and therefore allow clubs to know how much they have to spend.
Regardless of what Philippe Coutinho says about staying with Liverpool and the enthusiasm he shows in celebrating his goals, missing out on a move to one of the biggest clubs in world football and the opportunity to live in one of the best cities in the world has to be a heart breaker for the 25-year-old.
I don’t believe Liverpool will be able to keep hold of him for a further season should Barcelona indeed come back in for him in January, or again in the summer, if need be. Much like Southampton are ultimately going to lose Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk.
So cash in on the player whilst he’s worth a substantial fee and before you give him the opportunity to become unhappy and see his performances begin to dip.
Strength in Depth
Jurgen Klopp has already put together an impressive attacking unit. And whilst Philippe Coutinho is a big asset to them, he is replaceable.
Mohamed Salah has been one of the signings of the summer so far. Sadio Mane was one of the best last season. Roberto Firmino is scoring goals in the middle and Liverpool still have Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to fill in these positions when needed. Youngster Dominic Solanke is also making sporadic appearances since joining from Chelsea over the summer.
So there’s plenty of options available to the German manager already, plus you’d think they’d line up a replacement for Coutinho if they feel they need one.