Reported Newcastle United target Philippe Coutinho could be sold for just half the price Barcelona paid for him, according to Goal.com.
With Newcastle on the verge of a takeover, the Magpies have been linked with several high-profile players and coaches amid the prospect of St James’ Park having a huge budget going forward.
One such player said to be on Newcastle’s radar is Coutinho, with Brazilian outlet Metropoles claiming the Selecao star is the Magpies’ “dream signing”, as their prospective new owners look for marquee acquisition.
Coutinho, undoubtedly a high-calibre player, is currently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich, having struggled to impress at the Camp Nou since joining Barca from Liverpool in January 2018.
As Bayern haven’t taken up the option to buy the 27-year-old, he could now be set for pastures new, particularly given Barca are reported to be in financial difficulties and planning to sell several of their assets to make ends meet.
Goal.com claims that the Blaugrana are willing to sell Coutinho for just half of his original fee of €160million (£142million) – but to date have yet to receive a single bid.
Coutinho is a player of the highest calibre who simply doesn’t appear to be the right fit for Barcelona and could soon be moved on, but he has proven quality at the highest level, including in the Premier League.
Former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez waxed lyrical about Coutinho – who he coached at Inter Milan – in 2018, being quoted by Goal.com as saying: “He had an excellent pass, shot… he had everything, despite his young age, and a wide margin for improvement.”
And Mauricio Pochettino, who like Benitez is being linked with the SJP reins, is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as saying back in 2013: “I do think Coutinho has that same quality that Ronaldinho and Messi have… what is really clear to me is that Coutinho is a really responsible player and really dedicated.”
Given his potential availability, his undoubtable quality and the fact Newcastle could soon have a budget the envy of the football world, he would be a superb – and realistic – acquisition.