One of the biggest transfer stories from this summer was in regards to Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho and speculation linking him to La Liga giants FC Barcelona. The move was in the balance right up until the final few hours of Deadline Day, but a deal never materialised between the two clubs. However, a move could still happen if the Spanish side decide to come back in for the 25-year-old in January.
Recent speculation has suggested that Barcelona remain very interested in the midfielder and are already planning to launch another bid in January. They saw three offers rejected during the summer but this has not put them off, and they remain determined to get their man.
We take a look at whether this would be the right move for both Barcelona and Coutinho himself.
A chance to play with world-class players
The Brazilian midfielder is said to be very keen on the move, as he was throughout the summer, and it is understandable. He would have the opportunity to play for a huge club and would be surrounded by world-class talents such as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi every time he took to the pitch. At the moment, Liverpool do not have this sort of talent and are not able to compete for major European trophies like Barcelona are. It is therefore easy to see why Coutinho would fancy a move to Spain.
Barcelona did manage to secure the signature of Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele in the summer but recently received the devastating news that he will be out injured for at least the next four months with a thigh injury. This could make Barcelona even more determined to sign Coutinho in January. It would also give an opportunity to Coutinho to walk straight into Barcelona’s starting line-up and prove his worth before Dembele returns and potentially challenges him for a place in the side.
A chance to be the main man at Liverpool
Liverpool supporters will be desperate for Coutinho to have a change of heart and remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future. There is no doubt that he is one of the best players in The Premier League and he would be a massive loss to any side. He has the ability to win games by himself, and this is something that will be very difficult for Jurgen Klopp to replace.
His importance to the Liverpool side has been shown by his three goals in his last three appearances. He had a slow start to the season as he rarely featured as Klopp left him out of the side following all the transfer confusion. However, it has taken him no time to get back to his best, and the transfer speculation does not appear to have affected his performances on the pitch.
Due to the impact he has made since his return, it could cause Liverpool to increase their asking price for the midfielder in January if Barcelona do come back in. However, if Coutinho is still keen on the move by then, Liverpool may have no choice but to cash-in. They have already resisted his demands this summer and may find it difficult to do it again for a second transfer window. They do have the attacking threat to cope if Coutinho was to leave, as shown in the first few games of the season, so it may be best to cash-in and reinvest that money into other areas of the team which need improving such as the defence.