Philippe Coutinho may not currently be enjoying the absolute form of his life, but few can deny that he is a very special player indeed. The Brazilian is unstoppable on his day, and can pull out a dazzling piece of skill or thunderous strike on goal even when on the periphery of a game. There are few genuine match-winners around like him.
At 24 years of age, he is now entering the prime years of his career, and having nurtured him for nearly four years now, Liverpool would be loathed to see him leave and flourish elsewhere. Alas there is no shortage of interest in the player and some of the biggest clubs in the world would love to have him in their number.
Barcelona seem to be leading the chase, should Coutinho choose to leave Anfield, and star man Neymar has been very vocal about his desire to see his old childhood friend join him at the Camp Nou. “A Premier League player that I would like to join is Coutinho,” Neymar gushed recently. “I would sign him…He’s a player I see playing in Barcelona.”
Club legend and fellow compatriot Rivaldo has also chipped in by claiming: “I know there is a lot of admiration of him at Barcelona.” That may be so, but it would take a mammoth fee to prize him away from Anfield, and even then they are likely rebuff any advances. But now Spanish site Don Balon believe an attractive make-weight may prove decisive.
They report that Barcelona are ready to part with Croatian tyro Ivan Rakitic to sweeten the deal and make Liverpool more open to a transfer. The 29-year-old midfielder would certainly add a mobility, energy and dynamism that Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently lacking in the middle of the park.
Whether the Liverpool manager would be open to such a deal remains to be seen, but it could be the perfect solution for everyone concerned. Barcelona get their target, Liverpool finally recruit some legs and leadership in midfield, plus a huge wedge to spend on a Coutinho replacement.