Barcelona are increasingly moving closer towards securing a short-term move for Philippe Coutinho, who is surplus to requirements at the club, and the destination appears to be Tottenham Hotspur, according to Sky Sports. Coutinho has struggled throughout his time with the Brazilian club and he has been linked with a move to several clubs across Europe in the summer. Barcelona were intent on moving the 27-year-old in order to make way for Neymar, whose potential return to the Camp Nou has been hit by a sizeable delay.
A move for Coutinho would reunite the player with Mauricio Pochettino, who had brought out the best from the player when he spent six months on a loan spell at Espanyol back in 2012.
Barcelona have reportedly placed an £80 million valuation on the player who was brought to the club for a whopping £142 million just under two years ago in January 2018. Even though it represents a sizeable loss, the funds can be used to secure the key transfer targets for the club. Even after bringing in Antoine Griezmann for more than £100 million in the summer, manager Ernesto Valverde is keen on revamping the squad after less than spectacular campaigns.
Coutinho would be a major coup for Spurs, who have stringent wage and transfer budgets. The player is used to the Premier League way of life after having become a major star at Liverpool during his five years at the club. The Reds were the initial favourites to sign the player, but Jurgen Klopp simply does not have the transfer budget at his disposal to make such a huge signing.
The lack of buyers has left Barcelona in a tricky position with regard to Coutinho, who is aware that he is surplus to requirements at the club. Even though he featured in 53 games for the Catalans last season, the opportunities are likely to be limited in the upcoming campaign. The Brazilian only managed 11 goals in these matches, while it took him just 22 games in order to score 10 games in his first six months of the club. The alarming decline in form coupled with the transitional period for Barcelona has made it difficult for the 27-year-old to survive any longer at the club.
Coutinho has picked up two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, and one Supercopa de Espana title in his time with Barcelona. It is a remarkable return for a player whose last major trophy at club level – before the Barcelona switch – was with Inter Milan back in the 2010-11 campaign. If the player does make the switch to not London, Spurs would get a player who has just picked up the Copa America title with Brazil.
It is likely that Spurs may include the option to buy at the end of the loan tenure. Considering that the club have already spent £65 million on a midfielder this summer, the transfer budget for Spurs will be limited. It is widely anticipated that the arrival of Coutinho could quicken the exit of Christian Eriksen, who is of interest to Manchester United.