PHILIPPE COUTINHO is hoping his move to Bayern Munich can revive his career – after Liverpool snubbed the chance to re-sign him.
The Brazilian's move to Barcelona 18 months ago turned into a huge mistake as Coutinho failed to produce the form which had made him such a hero at Anfield.
2 Philippe Coutinho has joined Bayern Munich – after being snubbed by former club LiverpoolCredit: Getty – Contributor
The 27-year-old was desperate to return to Merseyside after Barca decided to cut their losses on him this summer.
But he found little enthusiasm from Liverpool in taking him back, even though he was the heartbeat of the side when he made his £145million switch to the Nou Camp.
Instead, the Athletic say Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield board came up with several reasons why a Coutinho comeback was not right for the club.
Too much money
The Premier League may be the richest in the world, but that doesn't mean clubs are going to throw good money away.
Bayern have coughed up an initial loan fee of £8m to Barca to get the move agreed, and have also agreed to pay all his £250,000-a-week wages.
The rough commitment Liverpool would had to have made for the season is £21m – a figure too costly for the club's board.
Liverpool are not afraid of digging deep to get players, but such a big outlay for a temporary deal was seen as not being prudent.
Wouldn’t have improved first XI
When Coutinho quit for Spain in January 2018, it was a major blow to a Liverpool side who had relied on him as their inspiration.
The playmaker had become vital to Klopp's team, and their chances of being able to challenge for the Premier League title.
Since then, the Reds have discovered that, if anything, they are better off without him as the trio of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Robert Firmino have wreaked havoc among opposition defences.
The way they are set up, Coutinho would find it difficult to command a starting role without affecting the balance and quality of the side overall.
Credit: AFP or licensors
Many fans against him
If you are a Liverpool player, you automatically command the total support of the fans.
There was a time Coutinho was the king of Anfield, the jewel in the eye of those on the Kop, but all that changed the moment he demanded to be allowed to leave.
Once the player power tantrums started, so he became vilified by supporters who were disgusted at the lack of respect he was showing the club.
Time has passed since then, but memories have not faded among some sections of the fan-base and bringing the playmaker back would have caused no shortage of unrest.
Wanted to be regarded as the main man
Having seen himself fail to make an impression at Barcelona, playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi and Co, Coutinho's ego has taken a bruising.
When he was offered to Liverpool, it appears to have been suggested he wanted the chance to be the main man again – as he had been in the red shirt previously.
But what Liverpool have built over the past couple of seasons is a squad of unity, all working to a collective goal and without individual stars.
Yes, Salah has shone brightest but he also buys into the team ethic Klopp has instilled into his squad and the manager has no intention of seeing that break up.
The prospect of a player with a big ego arriving had little appeal for the German.
Concerned by his wayward form at Barcelona
Putting it bluntly, Coutinho has failed to produce the goods during his time with Barcelona and that did not go unnoticed.
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In that time, Liverpool have moved on to another level performance wise, where they can afford to pick and choose targets based on what they are producing in recent months.
The concern with the Brazilian was that he has spent so long struggling with his game that there was no guarantee he would be able to turn it on again just because he would be arriving back in familiar surroundings.
Essentially, it would represent a gamble to sign him.
2 Jurgen Klopp passed up the chance to bring Coutinho back to LiverpoolCredit: Reuters