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. However, they 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 bag 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 31 Premier League appearances.
Following the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, Barcelona were strongly linked with a move for Coutinho but were simply priced out by the Reds. Though they did sign Ousmane Dembélé from Borussia Dortmund as a direct replacement.
If Barcelona make an offer of £120 million for the player in January, I believe Liverpool should accept. Here is my reasoning:
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.
Premier League TV deals mean the clubs are rich beyond their wildest dreams right now. Liverpool are also competing in this season’s Champions League, further adding to their wealth. However, £120 million is not to be sniffed at.
Liverpool have between now and January to agree a deal with his replacement. That means 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.
No matter what Philippe Coutinho says about staying at 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 come back in for him in January, or again in the summer. Just as Southampton have to accept that they are going to lose Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool; so too must Liverpool accept that they are going to lose Coutinho to Barca at some point.
So cash in on the player whilst he’s worth a substantial fee. And do it before he becomes unhappy and his performances begin to dip.
Strength in Depth
Jürgen Klopp has already put together an impressive attacking unit. And whilst Philippe Coutinho is a big asset, he is replaceable.
Mohamed Salah has been one of the signings of the summer so far. Sadio Mané 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 in 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.