FootballSports

Three potential destinations for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool standout

Philippe Coutinho made the switch to Liverpool in January of 2013 from Serie A outfit, Inter Milan.

The young Brazilian cost Liverpool somewhere in the region of £11.7 million.

Coutinho’s first six months on Merseyside saw him make 13 appearances in the second-half of the 2012/13 season.

The Vasco da Gama youth product would open his Liverpool account in a 5-0 hammering of Swansea City.

Coutinho then managed five goals and seven assists in his first full season at Liverpool, as they came so close to winning the Premier League title, finishing in 2nd spot.

The forward continued to develop whilst at Anfield, managing to net 13 and assist seven in 31 PL outings throughout the 2016/17 campaign.

The midfield maestro then managed seven goals and six assists in the first half of the 2017/18 season for the Reds.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 30: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT)Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield on December 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Coutinho signs with Barcelona

After proving himself to be one of the top attacking midfielders in the English top-flight, Coutinho would earn his big-money move to FC Barcelona in January of 2018, for a fee estimated to be around £130 million.

Coutinho’s first half-season in Spain proved pretty successful, as the Brazilian scored eight and provided five assists in 18 La Liga clashes.

However, the 2018/19 campaign has been one filled with disappointment for the 27-year-old.

After Neymar departed Barcelona for PSG back in 2017, the Catalan side had the mammoth task of replacing the tricky winger.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 08: New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho is unveiled at Camp Nou on January 8, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The Brazilian player signed from Liverpool, has agreed a deal with the Catalan club until 2023 season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barca struggles

Given the fact that Philippe Coutinho spends a lot of his career playing on the left, the Blaugrana faithful may have hoped that the ex-Inter star would have been the man to succeed Neymar at the Nou Camp.

Unfortunately, Coutinho, for whatever reason, has underperformed massively during his stint in Spain.

This past season saw Coutinho feature in 34 of Barca’s 38 La Liga ties. But the attacker would manage to score just five and assist two.

Given that Coutinho is playing alongside some of the highest rated players in Europe, such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, you would have expected a lot more than five goals and two assists out of the little magician.

As a result of his sub-par season, Coutinho has not exactly endeared himself to the Barca supporters.

Coutinho & Barca’s fans

After Barcelona’s embarrassing 4-0 hammering versus Liverpool in the Champions League, Coutinho bore the brunt of the fans’ wrath.

Coutinho himself has also recently spoken out about not meeting Barcelona fans’ expectations:

“I don’t have much to say to them [Barcelona fans].

“I’m grateful for all the support they’ve always given me. I’ve had difficult moments because I’ve not performed as well as they were expecting on the pitch.” As quoted by Marca.

After Coutinho failed to live up to his price tag during his first 18 months in Spain, Barca may well be looking to cut their losses and sell the Brazilian.

It has been reported that the La Liga champions are willing to move on up to 10 players this summer, with Coutinho’s name among those mentioned.

With that in mind, here are three potential destinations for the ex-Liverpool man.

Barcelona Coutinho

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 25: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks on from the bench before the Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter Final Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou stadium at Camp Nou on January 25, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

1. PSG

The first is Ligue 1 giants PSG.

However, given that much of Coutinho’s playing time is spent occupying the left wing, this move may only come to pass if Neymar departs.

That could be a very real possibility this summer, though. The Mirror have reported on Tuesday that Barca are weighing up a move for their former superstar.

PSG’s president has also recently cast a bit of doubt over Neymar’s future. In a recent interview, when speaking about Neymar, he stated that he wanted players who are willing to give everything for the shirt. He also added that nobody forced Neymar to join PSG:

“I want players willing to give everything to defend the honor of the jersey and to join the club project. 

“Those who do not want, or do not understand, we see each other and we talk to each other. There are of course contracts to be respected (Neymar is under contract with the PSG until 2022), but the priority now is total membership of our project. 

“Nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him. He came knowingly to join a project.” As quoted by france football.

Should Neymar leave PSG, they will need to sign a new left-sided attacker, and Coutinho could certainly fill that role.

PSG also already have a bit of a Brazilian contingent, including Thiago Silva, Dani Alves and Marquinhos.

2. Bayern Munich

Another top European club seemingly in search of a left-sided attacker this summer is Bayern Munich.

Both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben called time on their Bayern careers at the end of the 2018/19 season.

As a result, Bayern are currently a bit short-staffed in the winger department.

Both Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale have been linked with a move to the German outfit.

The Bale to Bayern rumours, however, are nothing more than speculation, according to the Welshman’s agent.

Regardless, Bayern Munich still look as though they will be bringing in a winger this summer, and should they fail to land Sane, Coutinho could be an alternative option.

Leroy Sane

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – JANUARY 20: Leroy Sane of Manchester City celebrates after he scores his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City at John Smith’s Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

3. Manchester United

The final and perhaps least likely of the three clubs Coutinho could join this summer is Manchester United.

Coutinho may have reservations over joining United for two reasons.

Firstly, they finished 6th in the Premier League last season, meaning they will be confined to Europa League football for 2019/20.

Secondly, it has been reported that Coutinho would not want to join Man United out of respect for Liverpool. The two clubs have a very fierce rivalry.

However, the Barca man has not actually come out and said that he would not join United, so a move may still be possible.

Furthermore, should the Red Devils lose Paul Pogba this window, they will likely want to reinvest that cash into the team.

While Coutinho is normally a left winger, he is more than capable of playing as an attacking midfielder.

Also, as United will not have Champions League football available to them next season, they may struggle to attract high quality players.

But if United put in a big enough offer for Coutinho, it is likely that Barca would accept, because, as mentioned above, he is one of 10 players that they are allegedly willing to sell this summer.

Related: Neymar is ‘close’ to leaving PSG for Barcelona – Globo

Chelsea reject Barcelona & Atletico bids for Willian – Sky

Thank you!

  • Cut chords: Watch everything (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu) online using a VPN.
  • Unlock geoblocking: A VPN gives you access to the best content from anywhere in the world.
  • Privacy & security: A VPN keeps your information private, activity encrypted & data anonymous.




Source link

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close