Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Jamie Carragher believes the Reds should consider being open and receptive to the idea of re-signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona but only “if it was a good price for us”.
After failing to impress top brass and fans at the Camp Nou, and getting absolutely humbled in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, Carra still thinks the prodigal son could be set for a(nother) potential return to Anfield – for the right price, of course.
“I wouldn’t say I would be actively going to get him, but if there was a possibility of bringing Coutinho back for decent money, and Barca wanted to cut their losses a little bit because it hasn’t worked out, then I’d do that,” Carra admitted.
“Would he be welcomed back? I’m not sure. But he should be. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be.
“I know he got a little bit of stick when he came back [for the Champions League semi-final second leg] because he wanted to move.
With Klopp all about the team ethic I don’t think it makes sense to bring back someone who agitated to leave (and has had a quiet 18 months by his own high standards). Liverpool are more about finding the next Coutinho, not the last one.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) May 15, 2019
“But [Xabi] Alonso wanted to move to Real Madrid, [Luis] Suarez wanted to move to Barcelona, and we still loved them when they went.
“Sometimes we pick and choose who we love when they leave. Nobody forced any player to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona – [Javier] Mascherano is another one.
“Suarez only got stick when he came back because of his antics in the first game, if he hadn’t done that then he’d be adored when he came back. What’s the difference between him and Coutinho?”
The Brazilian forced a move to Barça in January 2018, with his £142 million transfer making him the third-most expensive player in history. Those antics followed similar theatrics the previous summer, which riled Reds fans to no end despite early season form in 2017 taking away some of the bitterness.
The 26-year-old’s departure left a Coutinho-shaped hole in our midfield, which we tried to plug with a failed attempt to sign Nabil Fekir last summer. In the end, with that huge windfall from the Coutinho money we bought Virgil van Dijk and Alisson so it’s hard to be too upset about it really.
Coutinho and Suarez sold for a total of £194 million 💰
With that money Liverpool bought…
£76m – Van Dijk 🇳🇱
£56m – Alisson 🇧🇷
£40m – Fabinho 🇧🇷
£13m – Shaqiri 🇨🇭
…and left £9 change! 😅
Great business 👏 pic.twitter.com/uqUKReAODz
— Weekend Sport (@WeekendSport) May 8, 2019
We never went after any other candidates, with Jürgen Klopp seemingly happy with what he had to choose from in the end. Since we nearly won the title and we’re now in the Champions League final, his decision seems to have been vindicated.
That said, Carragher offered a suggestion to how we can grow even stronger and peg Manchester City back next season. “We lack that player in the squad. We have it in [Adam] Lallana and [Xherdan] Shaqiri, but this is a different level of player.
“It’s the one thing Man City have on us, they have Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne. We don’t have that type of player.
“We have great midfield players who are all very similar. We could add something a little bit different.
“But that would only really be if it was a good price for us.”
The only thing is – has Coutinho already paid the price for his behaviour and fallen too far out of favour with Reds?