For a time this summer, it felt rather as though Philippe Coutinho’s agent was desperately trying to get a deal done that would see the Brazilian return to Anfield 18 months after he forced his way out in order to join dream club Barcelona.
It appears, though, that whatever the hopes and goals on Coutinho’s end, on Liverpool’s there is no desire to bring the 27-year-old attacking midfielder back into the fold—though Jürgen Klopp insists he still rates the player highly.
“Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, 100%,” Klopp told ESPN. “It’s not about that. I like Phil, I think he’s a fantastic footballer, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it’s not our year for that.
“It’s just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better—us included—but I really hope he finds his luck at Barcelona. Or maybe he found it. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing.”
The idea of Coutinho returning to the Reds always seemed something beyond a long shot, realistically, which means that it’s hardly surprising to hear Klopp shutting down even the possibility of him rejoining Liverpool this summer.
That doesn’t, though, answer the questions surrounding Coutinho’s Barcelona future, with his place with the Catalan giants seeming far from certain—though Klopp is quick to note that you shouldn’t always believe what you read and hear.
“If everything was true what newspapers write about me, wow!” he said. “If [what they say about Coutinho is] similar to what they write about me, I would say he’s completely happy at Barcelona and wants to sign a new six-year contract.”