Newcastle set sights on £327,000-a-week star with 'magical powers' - report
Newcastle United have reportedly identified Philippe Coutinho as their potential first big-money signing, according to Sport.
The Magpies are under new ownership, as a Saudi-led consortium took over the club from Mike Ashley on Thursday.
Co-owner Amanda Staveley said the consortium has “the same ambitions as Manchester City and PSG” in terms of success on the pitch.
While she stressed that turning Newcastle into a major footballing power would take time, a marquee signing would be a great statement of intent.
And Coutinho would certainly be a high-profile arrival were he to join the Magpies.
Spanish outlet Sport claims that Coutinho’s representatives held talks with Newcastle’s new owners earlier this year.
The opportunity for a move was not available at the time, but now the takeover has happened, the 29-year-old is apparently back on their radar.
The report also claims Coutinho would be interested in a move to the North East and a return to the Premier League.
Coutinho left Liverpool four years ago to join Barcelona in a £142million deal, on a reported 20m Euro per year (around £327,000-a-week) salary.
However, the Brazilian has struggled at Camp Nou and is currently a rotation player under Ronald Koeman.
In 2019-20, Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on loan and won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.
He even scored a brace against his parent club en route to a 8-2 win in the quarter-final second leg that season.
Barca reportedly tried to sell him in the summer, asking for 50m Euro (around £42.5million).
Newcastle to land “phenomenal” playmaker?
Roberto Firmino, who played alongside Coutinho at Liverpool between 2015 and 2018, hailed his fellow Brazilian after a 5-0 win over Bolivia in 2020.
“He’s phenomenal,” the Anfield ace told Fifa.com.
“You simply can’t say that he’s not a magician. He has magical powers.
“He produces plays that don’t exist, that you couldn’t make up.
“You always have to watch replays of his plays to understand what he’s done. He’s an unbelievable player.
“It was a pleasure to play with him at Liverpool, and it’s a pleasure to play with him for the Selecao.
“I’m a huge fan of his. He’s one of the very best players in the world.”
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