As everyone focuses on what happens next with Lionel Messi, it appears one of his Barcelona teammates is eyeing a return to the Premier League.
Spanish sport newspaper Marca reported yesterday that Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all enquired about a potential transfer for Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho will be remembered for his time in the Premier League with our fierce rivals, Liverpool, which is likely to put some fans off.
Let’s not forget Michael Owen spent three years wearing United’s famous number 7 shirt despite the rivalry and perhaps Coutinho will take a similar path.
The Brazilian playmaker, 28, had a productive season on loan at Bayern Munich, including two goals and an assist against his parent club Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final en route to lifting the trophy.
In total last season, Coutinho racked up respectable figures of 11 goals and nine assists in 38 appearances across all competitions, resulting in a goal contribution of better than one every other game.
With Bayern opting not to make the loan deal a permanent one, the player is set to have talks with new Barca boss, Ronald Koeman, regarding their future plans.
Considering the big money contract the player is on, and Barcelona wanting to offload some of their wage bill, it could be a financial decision rather than a footballing one that sees Coutinho leave.
As reported by The Mirror, Kia Joorabchian, Coutinho’s agent, confirmed a preference for a return to Premier League football despite Coutinho not going public himself.
Looking at the signings already made by Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of next season, a move from either club doesn’t look to be a priority and United have so far been dragging their heels in the transfer window.
With United seemingly hesitant to negotiate with anyone until a deal is concluded for Jadon Sancho, and with Barcelona busy dealing with the Messi saga, it’s unlikely that any deal will be announced in a hurry.