Thursday, April 9, 2020

    Why Man Utd and Tottenham hold Philippe Coutinho advantage over Arsenal and Chelsea | Football | Sport

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    A host of Premier League clubs have been alerted to Philippe Coutinho’s availability as Barcelona consider offloading the Brazilian midfielder this summer.

    Coutinho struggled to adapt to life at Barcelona after joining from Liverpool in January 2018.

    The midfielder was shipped out to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on loan this season where he also failed to force his way into the starting XI.

    A return to the Premier League is looking ever more likely as Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea monitor his situation.

    The quartet of English sides would be put off by Barcelona’s huge £90million asking price.

    But they could be tempted with a 12-month loan, similar to the agreement Bayern have in place.

    However, Brazilian journalist Natalie Gedra, who has seen the rise and fall of Coutinho, does not see Arsenal and Chelsea being as keen as United and Spurs because of their current squads.

    She told Sky Sports: “[Coutinho] has the experience of playing in English football for a long time and he has a very unique style that could bring something different to each one of these teams.

    “Coutinho is creative, versatile and skilful and one of the teams reportedly interested in him have a player with his characteristics – maybe Mesut Ozil on a good day, or Mason Mount can become a player like that.

    “But United and Spurs definitely don’t and I think they could all benefit from his creativity and from the way he reads the game when he’s at his best.”

    A deal for Coutinho comes with it’s own risks as he has been below par for the last two years.

    The 27-year-old failed to rediscover his top form which earned him all the plaudits at Liverpool.

    “Coutinho’s main problem is his mentality,” Gedra added. “He had some good moments in Bayern, but didn’t show the consistency.

    “And again, as at Barca, the pressure of having to work in a different club was too much for him to handle.”

    Another option for Coutinho would be to remain as a squad rotation player with Bayern but the club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has thrown shade on the deal.

    He said: “Why is [the transfer] not decisive? This is a difficult question.

    “I think he played well in some games, while in others he gave the impression of being a little inhibited.”

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