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Shock Brazil Exit Means Early Liverpool Return for Coutinho

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Brazil’s shocking exit from the Copa America last night means Philippe Coutinho will be involved in the bulk of Liverpool’s pre-season efforts this summer.

Brazil v Peru: Group B - Copa America Centenario Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

For Brazil, it was about as bad a night as one could imagine. Never mind that it was in a one-off tournament; a made up cash grab of a Copa America one year after Chile won what should have been this cycle’s only South American championship. No matter the circumstance, no matter the competition, going out in the group stages is bad for Brazil.

Even if it’s on a hand of god goal, the Peruvian attacker clearly sweeping the ball into the goal, driving it with the movement of his hand and forearm. Because Brazil shouldn’t have been in that position. Shouldn’t have been in a place where conceding one second half goal to lowly Peru would knock them out of a tournament at the group stages of the competition.

Still, while there’s hurt for Brazil, for Liverpool there is the silver lining of Philippe Coutinho returning to the club in time to be involved in most of pre-season. There’s even a chance he could be available for all of Liverpool’s warm-up matches, though the time off he gets after the Copa may mean missing the very start of the pre-season. At least if he’s still a Liverpool player.

“I’m grateful for everything Liverpool has done for me,” was what he said, again looking to play down any talk of a potential transfer this summer, when asked about his future by reporters ahead of Sunday night’s match. When asked about the prospect of another season with Liverpool’s new manager, he added, “Am I happy working under Klopp? It’s clear, he’s great.”

Coutinho is expected to be given a full month off now, meaning a return to Liverpool on or around July 11th. The club play their first pre-season friendly, against Tranmere Rovers, on the 8th of next month. If he returns early there’s a chance he could feature in that warm-up, though it’s likely he will miss both that game and the next, against Fleetwood Town on the 13th.

Wigan Athletic on the 17 and then Huddersfield Town before Liverpool head to North America for their pre-season tour seems the mostly likely first game back for Coutinho. The club have so far signalled that they will not sell the player this summer regardless of what offer might arrive.