Everton have already been linked with signing a number of players in the January transfer window, and Rafael Benitez will be hoping to add quality to his struggling side over the next few weeks, with another name being put into the conversation to join the squad at Goodison Park in 2022.
Fabrizio Romano took to his Twitter replies to make the bold claim that the club are interested in signing Phillipe Coutinho during the transfer window.
Replying to a tweet, the transfer insider confirmed that the Toffees are in among many other clubs considering a move for the Barcelona player, claiming: “Everton are among clubs considering Coutinho. Not the only one. I think he plans to stay in Europe as priority. We’ll see.”
The £16.2m-rated star has been a hot topic of transfer speculation, as he has failed to make an impact at Camp Nou since joining the La Liga giants in 2018, scoring just two goals so far this season, which is a far cry from the expectations when the club signed him for £142m. However, he did show glimpses of talent at Bayern Munich, where he played his part in winning the Champions League on loan in 2019/20.
Despite the rumours of interest from Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham, it has since been reported by Mundo Deportivo that the 29-year-old could go back to Brazil amid interest from both Atlético Mineiro and Palmeiras, which the reports suggest could benefit Coutinho’s chances of getting into the national squad for the World Cup at the end of 2022.
There is no doubt that Coutinho has talent, with Brazil team-mate Roberto Firmino gushing: “You simply can’t say that he’s not a magician. He has magical powers. He produces plays that don’t exist, that you couldn’t make up.”
However, Everton have a habit of overspending in the wrong places, and the fans will be fuming if the transfer budget is blown on a player like Coutinho, instead of investing in a number of younger prospects who can elevate the team for the future, with Demarai Gray a perfect example of the type of signings the Merseyside club need to be making.
One Everton fan took to Twitter to react to the potential signing of Coutinho, venting: “Moshiri actually cannot help himself. It’s an insane addiction he has to overpriced washed players than are nothing more than short-term solutions that don’t help us in the long run.”
Gray was signed for £1.7m in the summer and has since become Everton’s joint-top scorer this season, making an impact far beyond his market value when he joined the Blues. That has set the bar for the kind of signings Benitez needs to be making, instead of buying a player coming to the end of his peak with wage demands of £383k-p/w, a sum could easily spread across multiple other signings.
Were they to splurge on Coutinho rather than investing a similar amount across several new signings, Everton fans would surely be raging at the club, much like the example above.
In other news: This transfer target could solve one big issue for Benitez