Barcelona propose Coutinho 'returns to Liverpool' to slash transfer debt

Barcelona propose Coutinho 'returns to Liverpool' to slash transfer debt

Barcelona have reportedly proposed the idea of Philippe Coutinho returning to Liverpool in order for them to pay off the debt they owe the Merseyside club.

Coutinho cost Barca a guaranteed £105million in 2018 but with a further £40million possibly due in add-ons over the course of his contract.

As things stand it is thought Liverpool are still due another £50m as part of the Coutinho transfer - money which Barca can ill-afford to part with at the present time.

And according to  AS , that has led Barca chiefs to suggest the Brazilian playmaker moves back to Anfield to write off the debt without receiving a fee in return.

Coutinho is still a popular figure inside the Reds' dressing room despite his slightly acrimonious exit, which cast him in a negative light with the club's fans.

Regardless, his return would no doubt be welcomed, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to eventually allow Coutinho to leave after failing with his best efforts to keep him.

Whether he would be willing to take him back is another matter, however.

Coutinho's time at the Nou Camp has sadly been nothing short of a failure and he has struggled to reproduce the same form which made him a hero at Anfield.

His brief resurgence on loan at Bayern Munich offered glimpses of the player he still can be but Coutinho has had several injury issues since, and Liverpool's recruitment team may feel holding out for the funds may be a better resource to reinvest in the squad.

There is no denying Klopp needs reinforcements in midfield, though, with Georginio Wijnaldum set to depart. The futures of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also far from certain.

One criticism levied at Klopp's side has been a lack of creativity from his central trio - a problem Coutinho's return would help to solve.

And for a club who are consistently looking to seek out value in the transfer market, wiping off Barcelona's debt in return for a player of Coutinho's quality does hold plenty of appeal.

That said, from the club's perspective it is also a gamble on a player they have already reaped the full rewards from.

There was always a sense that Coutinho never really fit into Klopp's vision for how he wanted his team to play.

It was evident how much Liverpool improved after his departure as, while it can't be solely attributed to this factor, the Reds were a lot more cohesive as a midfield unit and Coutinho never really fit into the front three.

Thiago Alcantara has also found his feet over the back end of the season and can offer the type of fluid, creative midfield play Klopp craves, meaning there is less of an appetite to bring Coutinho back.

Liverpool were originally the only club Coutinho wanted to play for if he were to return to the Premier League, although his disappointing spell at Barcelona means he can no longer afford to be so picky.

Barcelona are keen to offload him and several other players, including the likes of Antoine Griezmann, but finding a buyer will be their hardest task this summer.

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