Liverpool’s decision to offload Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a gargantuan £142 million transfer fee still remains to this day one of the greatest examples of business ever executed from a football club.
The Brazil international has remained heavily in the limelight since his Anfield departure and not for the right reasons.
Coutinho, 28, has been in freefall since securing his once ‘dream’ move to the La Liga giants with the player’s imminent footballing future still up for discussion.
According to reports from The Mail, Arsenal’s loan pursuit of the former Liverpool star has reached the ‘advanced stages’ and a move could be imminent.
Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian has been touted as the major influence behind a potential deal following his growing reputation at the Emirates having already brought David Luiz and Cedric Soares to the club, while he is also looking to get another one of his clients, Willian, over the line from Chelsea.
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Arsenal’s interest could follow on from another loan spell involving Coutinho following his time this season with Bayern Munich.
Coutinho has become a peripheral figure for the Bundesliga champions in recent weeks with the player limited to just 31 minutes of action for the club since March.
While Bayern are one of the favourites to win this season’s Champions League, Coutinho will likely be overlooked by manager Hans-Dieter Flick after falling out of favour at the club since the German manager’s arrival in October.
Coutinho’s individual career may declined dramatically over the past 24 months, Liverpool’s recent success represents a spiral opposite exchange of events.
The eye-watering figure that Barcelona paid for the Brazilian effectively paid for Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker who have both transformed Liverpool into English, European and world champions.
Liverpool are now arguably the most attractive footballing enterprise in world football following their domination in the past 13 months.
Coutinho was even reportedly looking to secure an Anfield return having been deemed surplus to requirements by both Barcelona and Bayern.
Despite Liverpool getting first dibs on the player if they choose to pursue a transfer, a move back to Merseyside seems almost impossible considering Jurgen Klopp’s stance on a deal.
Speaking in February, Coutinho claimed despite the parallel in fortunes, he had no regrets in regards to leaving Liverpool and appeared to suggest that the door is closed on a return to Merseyside.
“Liverpool are flying, and it doesn’t surprise me,” Coutinho told Sports Illustrated.
“We’ve seen it already last year when they won the Champions League, but I’m also not surprised because of their fantastic squad and manager.
“I am so happy for them, because I have so many friends there, former teammates – so I’m just so happy for them – but that’s all. I don’t look back.
“I took another path, and now I am on another journey, much like everyone else. I’m focused entirely – just like them – on reaching my dreams. I’m happy with what I did in the past, and now I can only look forward.”
It’s been some journey since Coutinho indeed departed Liverpool in unfortunate circumstances, yet while one has been tormented by a potentially premature decision the other has never looked back.