Rumours have been abound in various European publications that Spanish giants Barcelona are set to make a big-money summer move for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
The Reds star has recently welcomed the rumours. Coutinho is also good friends with Barcelona forward Neymar from their time together with the Brazilian national team.
Barcelona’s squad could be in for a major revamp this summer. The first issue that needs to be addressed is the new boss before any players are brought in.
Whether the Catalan club would be willing to shell out the mooted fee of £90million for Coutinho is unclear.
Wouldn’t get in the forward line
Coutinho is no doubt a very good player. The little magician has frustrated in past seasons because of his inconsistency. However, this season he has found some consistency in his performances and become an even more influential player for Liverpool.
However good Coutinho is, though, he is going to find it hard to get into that Barcelona team in any of the attacking positions. The front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are immovable objects.
Neymar has been linked with a move away from the club this summer. However, I just cannot see that happening. A reported problem between Messi and Neymar is definitely not visible on the pitch.
As Spanish international forward Paco Alcacer has found out this season it not easy playing second fiddle to the magic South American trio.
Maybe in the centre of midfield
Coutinho played in a deeper midfield role in his last outing for Liverpool. The move from Jurgen Klopp seemed successful as the playmaker scored twice.
Maybe a role in the centre of midfield will be free next season. However, he would face competition from the likes of Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic, who have both been influential players in recent seasons.
That is without even mentioning the likes of Sergi Roberto, Rafinha and Andre Gomes. To play one of those roles Coutinho would have to adapt his game. Barcelona have played a very attacking style for a long time.
Any of their central midfielders need to be able to go forward and help out defensively. Sergio Busquets may sit deeper as an anchorman, but the two other central midfielders in the 4-3-3 have to be tremendous disciplined.
Whether Coutinho will occupy that role in the long-term remains to be seen. The Brazilian is very attack-minded and would be regarded as a luxury player by most teams. I am not sure the Brazilian could be accommodated in that Barcelona team.
Barcelona still have work to do
Philippe Coutinho may well stay at Liverpool. He may be happy on Merseyside. However, the rumours are likely to persist for a good while to come.
Barcelona still have unfinished business this season. They are currently top of La Liga, but only courtesy of their head-to-head record against challengers Real Madrid.
Los Blancos have a game in hand as well, which is tonight at Celta Vigo. If Zinedine Zidane’s team pick up anything from the game they will be in pole position to win the title with just one game of the season still to play. The men from Madrid are big favourites for the Spanish title at odds of 1/6.
Whether Barcelona win La Liga or not this season, this summer is likely to be one of change, both on and off the pitch.
Some of the performances in La Liga and especially in the Champions League have exposed the Blaugrana’s weaknesses. Buying a new right-back could well be next boss’ first priority. Maybe Coutinho can play at right-back, eh? Err maybe not!
Looking at Barcelona the squad they seem to already have enough central midfielders and attackers on the books. The Catalan giants definitely need to strengthen their squad. However, I really cannot see Coutinho being one of those players brought in this summer to strengthen their squad.
Would Philippe Coutinho be a good signing for Barcelona?
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