Jurgen Klopp has told the press that although he still rates Coutinho extremely highly as a player, he won’t be re-signing him for Liverpool before the start of the season.
The Brazilian no.10 left in January 2018, having pestered for a move during the summer previous – with Liverpool securing a £142m transfer fee in the process.
Despite this jaw-dropping figure, Coutinho hasn’t set the world alight at Barcelona and was booed by his own fans on more than one occasion last season.
Los Cules have just bought Antoine Griezmann and are still being linked to Neymar, begging the question of where Coutinho will fit in – if at all – this term.
Klopp though says the money it would require to buy Coutinho back makes the deal impossible, although he admits we’d be a ‘better’ side with the 27-year-old pulling our strings.
“In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still – 100 per cent,” Klopp told ESPN. “It’s not about that.
“I like Phil, I think he’s a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it’s not our year for that.
“It’s just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better – us included – but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona.
“Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that.
“If everything was true what newspapers write about me – wow! If it’s similar to what they write about me, I would say he’s completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract or whatever.”
Klopp’s quotes almost suggest that if the price was right, it’d be something we’d consider, which is interesting.
We have a plethora of midfielders fighting for two spots either side of Fabinho, but none with the creative genius Phil possesses.
Fans would forgive him his exit in a heartbeat if he returned and did the business, but the fact Barca paid such an astronomical sum for him in the first place has tied their hands in respect to offloading him.