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Will Philippe Coutinho Leave Barcelona This January Transfer Window?

Greg Lea for Bookies.com

Greg Lea  | 4 mins

Will Philippe Coutinho Leave Barcelona This January Transfer Window?

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Philippe Coutinho Transfer Betting Odds*

TeamOddsBet With
Manchester United16/1Unibet

*Odds up to date as of December 31, 2021

Liverpool had initially resisted Barcelona’s overtures for Coutinho, insisting that the Brazil international was not for sale and rejecting numerous bids from the La Liga giants. But Barcelona persevered and eventually got their man, agreeing to pay an initial £105m with various add-ons potentially taking the deal up to £142m. It was an extraordinary amount of money, although the transfer was in keeping with Barcelona’s broader recruitment policy following the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Since Coutinho’s move to the Camp Nou, Liverpool have been in two Champions League finals, winning one, and have also lifted the Premier League title. Barcelona have not gone beyond the last four of the Champions League, and although they have won two La Liga titles, they now find themselves with debts of £1bn and without Lionel Messi, their greatest ever player.

The Coutinho transfer has been a monumental failure for Barcelona. The club even suffered the ignominy of seeing Coutinho score against them in a Champions League quarter-final during his loan spell at Bayern Munich. That 8-2 defeat in Lisbon will live long in the memory.

Given the dire financial situation, you would expect Barcelona will be willing to listen to offers for the Brazilian before the transfer window closes. But where might he end up if he does leave the Camp Nou?

Everton Linked With Coutinho

Everton fans may not like the fact that their current manager is a Liverpool legend, but how would they feel about a former LFC midfielder coming into the squad?

He may have been a fan favourite at Anfield, but Coutinho never reached legendary status at Liverpool - as good as he was on the red half of Merseyside - so chances are Everton's fan base may be onboard with any potential move.

Benitez still holds significant pulling power in world football and his reputation might just be enough to persuade Coutinho to return to the city of Liverpool. But there's a catch - Benitez happens to be one of the frontrunners in the sack race betting. Coutinho may be reluctant to commit while Benitez's future remains up in the air.

Newcastle in Coutinho Mix

Newcastle's new-found wealth suddenly puts them in the picture for many top-class players, but they'll need to invest smartly this winter or they'll be playing Championship football next season.

That enormous question mark would put many top-level players off wanting to join the Magpies, which might explain their long price in the betting on Coutinho's next club.

But if you don't ask, you don't get, and all eyes will be glued to Newcastle in January as the scale of their immediate ambition should become apparent with the signings they pursue.

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London calling as Arsenal links emerge?

Martin Odegaard has become an important player for Mikel Arteta, but that does not necessarily rule Arsenal out of the race for Coutinho. Coutinho would provide further invention in attacking areas alongside Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Moreover, his agent, Kia Joorabchian, has good relations with the Arsenal hierarchy.

A swap deal taking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the other direction has been mooted. The Gabon international is out of favour at the Emirates and has long wanted to play in La Liga. He would no doubt be interested in a move to Barcelona.

That is perhaps the only way Arsenal would be able to afford a deal for Coutinho. Barcelona are in a mess but they are said to want at least £35m for the 29-year-old.

Wolves and Leicester Mooted Options

Coutinho did not set the world alight at Inter earlier in his career, and his difficulties at Barcelona have been well documented. His Bayern Munich spell was so-so at best, meaning the best time of Coutinho’s career undoubtedly came in English football. It would be no surprise if he favoured a return to the Premier League this winter.

Wolves have been linked with Coutinho too but Brendan Rodgers has managed Coutinho before and would back himself to get the best out of the former Liverpool star at Leicester. Yet his wages could be a problem for the Foxes, who tend to sign younger players with sell-on value and the potential to improve. With James Maddison established as their No.10, Coutinho is not a priority.

About the Author

A London-based soccer specialist, Greg Lea has been featured in The Guardian and ESPN for his coverage of the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup.