Barcelona

Barcelona lower asking price for star midfielder amid Liverpool interest

Barcelona are reportedly willing to drop their asking price for Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona have decided to take a loss on the 27-year-old who is currently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga side have reportedly backed off from their option to buy the midfielder for €120 m next summer. Coutinho has shown glimpses of magic in Germany but Bayern feel he hasn’t done enough to justify his price tag. The playmaker is on course to return to Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Catalan giants paid a whopping £142 m to sign the Brazilian from Liverpool back in 2018. Coutinho had a clear run of games at the club last season following Ousmane Dembele’s injury problems. The Brazilian, however, struggled to fit into Ernesto Valverde’s system causing Barcelona to loan him to Munich for the season. Coutinho has scored 7 goals in 26 appearances for Bayern Munich this season.

The former Reds star is not in new manager Quique Setien’s plans next season. Barcelona are willing to sell the Brazilian to raise funds for a striker after losing Luis Suarez to injury. Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona will consider offloading the playmaker for a reduced fee when the transfer window opens. Barcelona are now prepared to reduce their asking price to around the £70 m marks.

Liverpool are open to bringing Coutinho back to Anfield if their check books permit.

Liverpool are on course to end their 30-year-long drought by lifting the Premier League this season. The Reds are 22 points clear of second-placed Manchester City on top of the Premier League table. Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman even endorsed a shock return for Coutinho. “I wouldn’t mind seeing Coutinho back. He’s a brilliant player but a lot of it is just down to economics,” McManaman told HorceRacing.net.

“If they can bring Coutinho back for a reasonable fee and potentially sell a couple of players who aren’t playing regularly, then that could work. There are rumours that Xherdan Shaqiri may leave at the end of the season, and Adam Lallana may want to play more often. If there’s space available then I’d certainly like Coutinho back, as he was a wonderful player for Liverpool. He’s that type of player that when plan A isn’t working he can change the game,” he added.

“He scored some incredible goals for Liverpool and though he’d have to win the fans over after he asked to leave, I think that most fans would recognise how good he was for Liverpool. He seems to have lost his way a bit at the minute, he needs a bit of TLC and an arm around him doesn’t he? So if he wants to come back to Liverpool and the deal was good then I’d have no qualms taking him back because he’s a lovely player,” he went on to conclude.

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