Reports in Spain claim that Philippe Coutinho has suffered a huge price drop over the last 12 months. The Brazilian is supposedly up for sale.
Sport believes that Coutinho is now available for around £53m, with Chelsea interested in the player. They believe that Coutinho will leave Barcelona this summer – it’s just a matter of where.
The alarming thing here is that price. £53m is a lot of money, of course, but it’s considerably down on his valuation in 2019.
When Barcelona negotiated with Bayern Munich for Coutinho’s loan deal, they put in an optional clause of £106m to make it permanent. That’s what the Catalonians wanted to give up on the player.
This is a player they paid a reported £142m for in January 2018. In just 18 months after signing Coutinho, they’d shaved over £30m from that price. One year later, they took off another £50m.
From a Liverpool perspective, they must feel remarkably vindicated in their decision to sell. They brought in a monstrous, British record fee for Coutinho and used the money expertly.
36 months later, he’s not worth anything like that figure. In fact, if they wanted, they could bring him back for a mere fraction of their sale – although, that looks very unlikely. The Mirror claims there is ‘zero interest’ in doing so and instead, Coutinho may move to a Premier League rival.
But wherever he ends up, Liverpool can look back on this deal with immense pride. They built a player up, sold him for a massive profit, and improved their own team. Then they watched on and got confirmation that they were the only winners from their record deal.
It’s a decisive win, yet again, for Liverpool’s business decisions.