Philippe Coutinho’s 2018 transfer to FC Barcelona was a financial windfall for Liverpool that helped add the final few pieces to the roster that would go on to win the 2019 Champions League Final and the 2020-21 Premier League title. For Barcelona and Coutinho, the move has largely been a disaster.
The Brazilian midfielder has struggled to find the form that led Barcelona to believe he was worth the nine-figure transfer fee they paid, and he spent much of this past season on the sidelines with a knee injury. Both the club and the player seem to have accepted that it’s time for Coutinho to move on.
Barcelona is especially interested in finding a buyer thanks to the severe financial issues they are facing. Not only are they strapped for cash, but their wage bill is bloated to the point of absurdity. They are currently so far over what they are allowed to spend that La Liga rules prevent them from registering new signings like Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay until they have dramatically reduced their overall wage bill.
Oh, and on top of all of that, they still want to try and find a way to re-sign Lionel Messi.
So, they are looking to move some of the bloated contracts they have on their books, and Coutinho is one of the more obvious options. According to Spanish outlet Sport, the 29-year-old was hoping he could return to Merseyside and reunite with Jürgen Klopp, but Klopp, who apparently has no interest in bringing Coutinho back for an Anfield encore, has “closed the door.”
Even with Barca likely willing to accept a fraction of Coutinho’s value to try and dump his contract, it’s hard to imagine Klopp or Michael Edwards entertaining the idea of bringing him back. Coutinho will likely be loosely linked with a Liverpool return until Barcelona can actually find a club willing to take on his wages, but it’s incredibly unlikely it would ever happen.