Barcelona are in the midst of a major overhaul, having already signed Antoine Griezmann and reportedly being in the midst of an audacious attempt to bring lost star Neymar back to the Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain.
As a result, there’s also been plenty of talk of potential departures, with Philippe Coutinho top of the list after a disappointing 18-month run with the Catalan giants. Inevitably, he has been linked with a return to Liverpool.
Nobody much thinks it’s going to happen once you move past the worst of the tabloids, but it’s an easy story to spin for the rumour mongers and so they have. And today we have what might be the most audacious spinning of it.
From Italy’s Calciomercato—who despite being, you know, an Italian outlet talking about a Brazilian player leaving Barcelona to join Liverpool claim an exclusive on the story—today we have word of a supposed offer.
They say the Reds have tabled a two-year loan offer with an £88M purchase option at the end of it, though they don’t say whether it’s a mandatory option or not and neither would make a great deal of sense.
If it’s not mandatory it would essentially be Liverpool paying some of Coutinho’s wages for two years before not triggering it as he’d be 29 at the end of the 2020-21 season, and that wouldn’t much help Barca now.
On the flip side, a mandatory £88M fee in two years for a then 29-year-old Coutinho wouldn’t make a great deal of sense for Liverpool. Still, Calciomercato claim Liverpool have in fact made just such an offer.
They also claim that, for now at least, Barcelona are hopeful of finding someone who will take Coutinho permanently this summer—or that his sale can be folded into the purchase of Neymar as part of a player swap.
All told, it’s a sensational and unlikely story with plenty of wiggle room for Calciomercato should it not come off. Which it won’t because, seriously, a two-year loan with a £88M purchase option at the end of it?