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Philippe Coutinho offered back to Liverpool in ridiculous Spanish rumour

The summer transfer window opens in just over a week, and Liverpool have already – and rather predictably – been linked with another move for Philippe Coutinho.

It has been three-and-a-half years since Coutinho left the Reds for Barcelona in a £142 million deal that paved the way for the signings of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.

The defensive duo have played a key role in transforming Liverpool’s fortunes, with the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup won without Coutinho.

Liverpool’s sixth European Cup – lifted two years ago on Tuesday – came directly at the expense of the Brazilian, whose Barcelona side crumbled in the semi-finals at Anfield, as part of a ruinous decline.

At the forefront of the Super League plans, Barcelona are desperate to bring in funds to ease their financial difficulty, and Spanish publication AS have presented a convenient solution.

“Barca still owes several amortisation periods of his signing to Liverpool,” Javier G. Matallanas claims.

“[They] have proposed to the English club the return of Coutinho and [wipe out] the more than €50 million owed from his transfer.”

What a surprise, except it’s not at all possible – not least as Jurgen Klopp willingly allowed Coutinho to leave back in 2018.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - Wednesday, May 1, 2019: FC Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho Correia is replaced by substitute Nélson Semedo during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC at the Camp Nou. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The structure of Liverpool’s deal with Barcelona involved a number of payments spread out over a long period, along with further fees for various appearance and performanced-based add-ons.

Matallanas’ suggestion is that Barcelona would offer the Reds their No. 14 in order to cover the rest of their debt to the Premier League club.

However, buried in their accounts for 2019-20 is the fact that Liverpool “factored with a financial institution its right to collection” for the remaining £35.5 million owed as part of the Coutinho deal.

In other words, the Reds ‘sold’ the debt to a bank in order to receive the full funds without relying on Barcelona, whose shaky finances are well-documented.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 28, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia is embraced by manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted immediately after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Barcelona, therefore, no longer owe Liverpool anything for Coutinho, which makes the prospect of offering him back to settle the debt impossible.

Coutinho, now 28, has played 90 times for Barcelona since leaving Merseyside, scoring 23 goals and laying on 14 assists, along with another 11 goals and nine assists in 38 games on loan at Bayern Munich.

Pound for pound, he is undoubtedly one of the worst signings in Barcelona’s history, and though he was a crucial player at Liverpool, Klopp’s side have long moved on without him.

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