Leicester City are reportedly interested in bringing Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho back to English football this summer.
According to Spanish outlet Sport.es (as reported by the Leicester Mercury), Brendan Rodgers’ charges are among several Premier League sides keen to acquire the 28-year-old’s signature over the coming months.
The report claims that Coutinho’s agent Kai Joorabchian has been offering his client’s services to England’s top teams, with Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur the clubs who have “kept the door open” to the Brazil international.
Coutinho moved to Barca in a huge £142m move back in January 2018 after impressing throughout his time with Liverpool.
At Anfield, the South American star bagged 54 goals and provided 45 assists in 201 appearances for the Reds after being brought to Merseyside by the current Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers.
Just a year ago, the Northern Irish tactician was lauding Coutinho on The Beautiful Game podcast after they enjoyed a successful stint together at Liverpool.
“Philippe was one I knew from my Chelsea days. We tried to get him to Chelsea when he was 14, but he had already committed to Inter Milan. So we talked about him in the summer and kept tabs on him,” revealed Rodgers.
“Then, all of a sudden, he became available. At 19, we thought: ‘Wow. Right, let’s get this boy in!’ Most people would have probably looked at him and thought he’s not for the Premier League.
“But what a talent. He intimidates people when he has the ball with his quality. This boy is top, and if he comes back to the league, he will show that he’s world-class.”
Things haven’t worked out for Coutinho at the Camp Nou, though. Following an underwhelming 18 months with the La Liga giants, Barca shipped him out on loan to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 season.
Despite helping FC Hollywood to an incredible treble, the reigning Bundesliga champions decided not to make his stay at the Allianz Arena permanent.
A season-ending injury picked up in February means Coutinho has yet to play any football this calendar year, and as a result, it’s believed that he could depart the Catalan club for as little as £17m.
For that price, Leicester’s director of football Jon Rudkin must swoop for the former Liverpool man this summer.
Rodgers has previously got the best out of the Brazilian, and paired with fellow technician Youri Tielemans in the centre of the park; the Foxes could be elevated to new heights.
When at the peak of his powers, Coutinho is a top-class operator capable of winning matches on his own.
The thought of Tielemans providing him with a constant supply of perfectly weighted passes would be enough to striker fear into any defence, and his arrival could be the final push they need to secure Champions League football next term.