What with your Mario Götzes and Sadio Manes and Yacine Brahimis, there’s been a lot of talk of attacking incomings for Liverpool already this summer. What there hadn’t been, at least until today, was talk of any potential outgoings from those attacking midfield and inside forward positions.
That changed today when Le 10 Sport claimed that Paris Saint-Germain were mulling over a £45M move for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, who was recently named player of the season at the club’s annual player’s gala. Coutinho, according to the report, joins the likes of Eden Hazard and Robert Lewandowski on their shortlist.
Their report was quickly followed up by confirmation from Paul Joyce at the Express that Coutinho's agents had been approached by PSG but that as yet they had made no official contact with Liverpool about the player. Two other, as yet unnamed, European clubs are also reportedly considering moves for Coutinho.
While there had been some concern amongst fans that a good enough season might get the Brazilian onto the radar of a club like Barcelona, few will have been considering the possibility of a bid for the 23-year-old from Ligue 1’s big spenders, and just how likely they might be to land him if they follow through with a bid is an open question.
Coutinho has always said he feels at home at Liverpool, and after his early struggles at Inter Milan many would consider him a far lesser flight risk than another similarly talented young star might be. Still, if it was one of the Spanish giants calling for him, one imagines it would be difficult—as it would be for most players—to ignore it.
PSG are another matter, filling in an odd niche in the European football landscape where they are a genuine threat in European competition but what they might do domestically barely registers outside of France. They could offer that chance at European glory, but they aren’t the draw that a club like some other clubs would be.
Coutinho, for his part, seems unlikely to try to force a move away—he never agitated for a move at Inter, even when things were at their worst—and when the PSG rumours were put to the player, currently on duty with the Brazilian national team in Los Angeles, he signalled he isn’t interested in changing clubs.
If PSG are indeed looking to bring in a big name signing from an established club, then Hazard, coming off a disappointing season at a Chelsea side expecting heavy turnover this summer, seems a likelier option than either Coutinho or Bayern’s Lewandowski. Still, Coutinho to PSG is a rumour that’s now out there in the wild.
Whether there's any reason for Liverpool to fear losing their top creator this summer or not will likely become clear in short order.