Liverpool can afford to wait and see on any deal with Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho. The Catalonians will get desperate.
AS claims Barcelona have proposed a deal with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho. They’d like to wipe out the remaining debt for their initial purchase – around £45m – and hand him back to the Reds.
It’s a fairly unique proposal, to say the least. Liverpool would, on the face of it, give up money rather than spend it. They’d also get back a player they sold for around £100m more than that figure.
But it’s more complex than that, unfortauntely.
Barcelona propose Philippe Coutinho deal
Per the Liverpool Echo, Barcelona technically don’t owe that money to the Reds. They owe it to a third party.
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Liverpool struck a deal to sell that debt to a finance company, receiving their entire amount. That means Barcelona now owe the money to that company, not Liverpool.
Thus writing off the debt in a sale isn’t that easy. Liverpool would need to give money back to Barcelona so they can pay off the rest of the remaining debt to the third party.
So instead of this being ‘free’, it would literally entail Liverpool buying Coutinho for over £40m. We don’t see any way around it – though, we’re not financial experts.
The question then becomes whether the Brazilian is still worth that.
Is Coutinho worth it?
No, he probably isn’t. Well, he is and he isn’t. Coutinho hasn’t played well enough over the last few years to justify a large price tag.
On the other hand, we don’t doubt that Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool could almost instantly turn him into a player worth £50m+. They know exactly how he works, they know how to get the best out of him, and he knows the playing style already.
There is no other destination more likely to turn Coutinho into a top player again. We don’t think anyone would doubt that.
But that also means we can’t see anyone else paying £45m-ish to sign Coutinho. He’s just too risky at this point and that means his price should drop.
Barcelona won’t have space for him and will be desperate to sell, if only to make paying off their debt easier. So if we’re Liverpool, we wait a month or two for that price-cut to happen.
For ~£30m, Coutinho could be an instant injection of quality into Liverpool’s XI. He could be an attacking piece that improves things with little to no risk. Few players can offer that.
So no, we wouldn’t jump at the current proposal. A cheaper one, though? Coutinho could be worth that investment as Liverpool look for success next season. There’s a potential bargain here – if Liverpool are willing to wait.