With almost zero football-related activity going on around the world at the moment, papers and tabloids are no doubt finding it difficult to come up with actual new stories to feed the masses. It’s not a surprise that old rumors are being re-circulated — sometimes as old as just three days in fact!
Three days ago, Brazilian outlet Lance! claimed that Chelsea have “touched base” regarding a potential loan move for the on-loan midfielder. Today, the Daily Mirror claim an exclusive on Chelsea being one of four Premier League teams to have made an approach, also for a loan move. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal are the other three, while Lance!’s story also claimed interest from Inter Milan and maybe even Bayern Munich, where Coutinho’s spent the season on loan — though all of the clubs want him only on a temporary basis, much to Barcelona’s chagrin.
Coutinho, who will turn 28 this summer and thus has maybe one significant move left in his career, may look back on his decision to push for an exit at Liverpool in 2017-18 with some regret (at least that’s what former Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea man Emmanuel Petit thinks).
After a season and a half of constant jeers and boos at Camp Nou, Coutinho moved on loan to Bayern Munich last summer, with a view to making the move permanent. However, his form dipped after a good start, and Bayern are only interested in renewing the loan, at best. Coutinho’s agent has been clearly hard at work in generating some better long-term options for his client, though so far no one seems to be biting.
While an on-loan Coutinho sounds only half as risky as a permanent Coutinho, he has been poor in recent seasons — and even more so if we take into account his transfer fee and wages — and would at best serve as a stop-gap option. Moreover, while Coutinho can be brilliant on his day, he needs the right system, a system built around his talents, to show his brilliance. Chelsea seem to be on the path to building a footballing structure that could serve the club for years to come, and for all his abilities, adding Coutinho would be taking one step forward and two steps back.