Few agents are working harder these days than those tasked with offloading Philippe Coutinho, who’s become persona non grata in Barcelona.
The €120+40m Barca gave to Liverpool for the 26-year-old has looked worse and worse with every game, and that’s before we consider his presumably outrageous wages (reportedly around £11.7 million per year). That makes him not an easy asset to move, to say the least. Few other teams could afford that sort of financial commitment, which explains in part the continuing narrative of Chelsea (and Roman Abramovich specifically) looking at the midfielder as a potential big-name Eden Hazard replacement.
Coutinho has already made it clear that he wants to stay at Camp Nou for at least another season, but some of the main figures at the club apparently do not share his enthusiasm and are ready to cut their losses. It hasn’t helped that he’s also become the target for fans’ ire, fairly or unfairly.
Financials aside, while signing Coutinho may satisfy the need for “star power”, he’d be unlikely to replicate Hazard’s impact while still taking up a big piece of the available budget.
Our blogfather, Graham MacAree summed it up best: