There can be fewer bigger transfer cautionary tales than that of Philippe Coutinho’s nightmare move to Barcelona that saw the Brazilian attacking midfielder depart Liverpool in a blockbuster £142M deal back in January of 2018.
Three-and-a-half years later, one imagines both Coutinho and Barcelona would do things rather differently if they could. And it appears that for the third summer in a row now, the Catalan club will attempt to correct their mistake.
According to AS at least, Barcelona have reached out to Liverpool in particular, proposing Coutinho return to the English club so that Barcelona don’t have to pay the approximately €50M still owed on his initial transfer to the club.
However, Liverpool sold the outstanding debt on the deal to a third party, meaning any remaining money owed will not be paid to them—and if Coutinho returned, it would not simply result in Barcelona not having to pay what’s left.
As such, there would be no particular advantage in Coutinho joining Liverpool over any other club, and it seems unlikely that Liverpool would be at all interested in spending €50M to bring the now 28-year-old in this summer.
Beyond the fee itself, there are questions about where Coutinho—something of a hybrid of an attacking ten midfielder and winger—would fit in the current Liverpool side, at least as the starter he would need to be to justify a €50M outlay.
As a depth option for a low enough price or on loan there might be reason to consider a return, but if Barcelona are looking to sell and cover their outstanding debt on Coutinho it seems safe to say Liverpool won’t be involved.