Newcastle United are eyeing up ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho as their first new signing under their proposed new billionaire owners, according to Mundo Deportivo
While Newcastle’s ownership handover is still in development, it seems certain that Mike Ashley’s time there is over. Per ITV, the takeover by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium is set to be completed in the next fortnight.
The Saudi Arabian public investment fund will take an 80% stake, which means the club are set to have the richest owners in the Premier League.
This has led to fans fantasy picking their team’s new signings. There is an idea that money won’t be an issue with regards to new signings, despite UEFA’s financial fair play policy.
Brazilian Coutinho is on loan at Bayern Munich from parent club Barcelona. A permanent deal apparently does not interest the Germans.
According to Transfermarkt, his move from Liverpool to the Catalan giants in January 2018 cost over £130 million. He only spent a season and a half in Spain, which is an indication of how unsuccessful his time at the Camp Nou has been.
He joined Bayern Munich on loan in August 2019, in a move that seemed to suit all parties.
Coutinho was moving to a European heavyweight for the fourth time in his career.
Barcelona were getting an unfancied player off their books in the hope of selling him on and recouping some of the fee they spent on him. Bayern were getting a world-class playmaker.
His eight goals and six assists in 22 games wasn’t a bad return, but he still found himself out of favour under Hansi Flick. Despite having a respectable season, he is not expected to remain in the Bundesliga.
Back on the wagon
Perhaps a move to the north-east of England makes sense. Coutinho enjoyed his best spell in the Premier League and he reportedly wants to return.
Coutinho would have the chance to kick-start his career as part of an exciting new project. He will be 28 by the time next season begins, so will possibly only have two-to-three more years in his prime.
For Newcastle, the signing will be one to make the leagues big boys sit up and take notice. Adding a player of Coutinho’s quality will allow them to stake their claim as a competitive side.
There is the argument however that they should rebuild by following the model of Leicester City or RB Leipzig. Instead of signing ageing stars for big money, perhaps they should target younger players to develop them. The likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini of Roma may be a better option.
It is sure to be Philippe Coutinho’s last big chance, wherever he ends up. It will be intriguing to see if he takes it.