Marcus Banks has urged Liverpool to seriously consider a move for Philippe Coutinho in the summer, with the Brazil international reportedly available for the cut-price fee of £35m.
The forward has struggled to replicate the form that prompted a big-money move to Barcelona in 2018, with injuries further plaguing his time with the Catalan giant.
“For me, I think it’s a no-brainer for the £35m that is being talked about. Liverpool should be all over that,” the journalist spoke on the Blood Red podcast.
“Especially when you factor in that you possibly get £15m in for Marko Grujic, possibly £10-15m for Harry Wilson in the summer; swapping those players who probably have no future at Liverpool for a player of Coutinho’s calibre who is 28, approaching his prime, Premier League proven, and similar to the way Thiago Alcantara was signed to just offer something different to Liverpool. I think it should be a no-brainer.
“If you look at Man City, a player like Bernardo Silva who’s sort of similar, can play in the centre of midfield, out wide; he doesn’t start every game but he is there to offer Pep Guardiola options.
“Coutinho is a bit of a no-brainer; I think he would suit the Liverpool team now more than he suits Barcelona because he would offer something better on the left if you want to switch Mane.”
Could we see Coutinho return to Anfield?
The Brazilian magician was an absolute fan-favourite, having delighted the stands with his technical ability and moments of magic on the pitch.
To have all that back for £35m – after having parted ways for £142m three years ago – would, on paper, make a certain amount of sense.
That being said, with those close to the club certain that Jurgen Klopp has his mind set on a younger forward, of a similar age group to Diogo Jota (if not younger), the 28-year-old doesn’t quite fit the bill.
There’s certainly an argument, of course, to have Philippe available as a midfield option, though one might imagine that, should Gini Wijnaldum leave on a free in the summer, the recruitment team will prioritise a like-for-like instead of an intrinsically forward-minded player.