Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman thinks Coutinho is an option to return and replace Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana this summer, should the pair depart Anfield.
Shaq has barely featured all term and needs an exit for more first-team football, in reality, while Lallana’s contract is up and the Englishman hasn’t been offered an extension.
Coutinho departed for a monstrous fee in January 2018, but failed to make the grade at Barcelona and is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, who have decided they won’t sign him permanently.
This means an interesting summer for the Brazilian, in which he can either stay and fight for a spot under Barca’s new boss Quique Setien or move elsewhere – should a prospective stump up the required fee…
“I wouldn’t mind seeing him back at the club. He’s a brilliant player and I think a lot of it is just down to economics,” McManaman said, cited in the Star.
“If they can bring Coutinho back for a reasonable fee and potentially sell a couple of players who’re not playing all the time, then that could work.
“There are rumours that Xherdan Shaqiri may leave at the end of the season, Adam Lallana may want to play more often.
“If there’s space available then I’d certainly like Coutinho back as he was a wonderful player for Liverpool.
“He’s that type of player for when plan A isn’t working then he could certainly change the game.
“He scored some incredible goals for Liverpool and though he’d have to win the fans over after he asked to leave, I think that most fans would recognise how good he was for Liverpool.
“He seems to have lost his way a bit at the minute, he needs a bit of TLC and an arm around him doesn’t he?
“So if he wants to come back to Liverpool and the deal was good then I’d have no qualms taking him back because he’s a lovely player.”
Liverpool are not going to spend big money on Coutinho, considering the success we’ve had without him and the fact he’s 28 this year.
That gives him maybe two or three years at his peak – and there’s no way the Reds would consider another huge sum on a player who firstly demanded an exit in an unsavoury manner and secondly would be only a luxury addition to an already brilliant side.
Since Phil left, we’ve developed a steely midfield – and the our ex-no.10 wouldn’t be able to contribute tactically in Klopp’s trio which supports the fullbacks as well as the forwards.