ESPN reports that Philippe Coutinho will be allowed to leave for just under £90million this summer and Liverpool need to offer the Brazilian a chance to return.
ESPN claimed last month that Barcelona would sell at the right price and now reiterate this, adding that the Spanish giants are aware of interest in their unhappy midfielder from English clubs.
Liverpool need to ensure they are at the front of the queue to sign Coutinho. The stats prove that there is no better play-maker that will be available this summer and what is currently available to Klopp makes for bad reading.
Since the start of 2013, only Christian Eriksen (20) has scored more goals from outside the box than Coutinho (19) and the Brazilian left the Premier League over a year ago.
In that space of time, the Dutchman score six of his long-range goals which goes to show how good Coutinho is at scoring from distances that most players struggle with.
Even though Coutinho left Liverpool mid-season and played 1763 minutes fewer than Eriksen, he still only recorded three goal involvements fewer.
If you include his contribution to goals in Spain up until the end of the season, he then ends the season with 10 goals and assists more than his England-based Dutch counterpart.
Now, that’s comparing Coutinho to arguably the most consistent play-maker in England over the last few years apart from himself.
When you stack his numbers up against the dross that plays as supporting cast to Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, his brilliance is further highlighted.
For instance, Keita, Shaqiri and Lallana, Liverpool’s more creative midfielders, have one, eight and zero goal contributions respectively in the Premier League this season.
Of course, more context is needed with these three Liverpool players as Keita has been injured a lot this season, Shaqiri has been mysteriously absent from Klopp’s starting XI for most of 2019 and Lallana is notorious for looking flashy.
Then you have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has brilliant last season in Coutinho’s absence and almost literally drove the Reds forward in their ultimately unsuccessful quest for Champions League glory.
Right before the final in Kiev, he was struck down by a terrible knee injury and hasn’t appeared in action for Liverpool since.
It might be that Klopp has an answer to his midfield creativity issue but if it doesn’t involve Coutinho or someone of similar quality in Nabil Fekir, next season might present the same stumbling blocks this one has.
If Coutinho is really available for just £90million this summer, then FSG will find themselves in a favourable position to land the magic maestro.
With Barcelona still required to pay the two remaining instalments of their fixed £102million fee, Liverpool could arrange a deal that is mutually beneficial for both parties.
Whatever the financial repercussions for both parties might be, the Reds need to do everything they can to make a return to Liverpool possible for Coutinho.
Of course, there’s the significant likelihood that Klopp doesn’t want him back but if that’s not the case, Coutinho returning to Liverpool would fix their biggest problem.