An update has emerged regarding Newcastle’s interest in Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Newcastle’s new owners PIF are in talks with Barcelona over a potential January deal for the Brazil international.
The report claims that the Magpies are keen on a swoop for the attacking midfielder and are able to afford Barcelona’s €50m (£42m) valuation.
Newcastle fans would surely be ecstatic if PIF are able to secure a deal to sign Coutinho in January. If this report is accurate, the Saudi Arabian consortium are showing immediate ambition in the transfer market, as he would represent a significant boost to the current playing squad.
Coutinho has played in the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga throughout his career for Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively and would give a lift to the players at St James’ Park. The 29-year-old is a Champions League winner and has won league titles in both Spain and Germany, which means that he would arrive with pedigree and could be respected by the other players at the club.
In his last 18 months at Liverpool, Coutinho produced 20 goals and 13 assists in 41 Premier League starts for the Reds. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 8.03 in his final half-season at Anfield, with seven goals and six assists in 14 appearances.
His former Reds teammate Roberto Firmino claimed that the 29-year-old has ‘magical powers’ on the ball, saying (via Goal): “He’s phenomenal. 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.”
These quotes and Coutinho’s phenomenal statistics in England for Liverpool highlight why Newcastle fans would likely be over the moon if he is signed for £42m in January. He is a proven Premier League attacking midfielder and could come in and score the goals and provide the assists to lift Newcastle up the table, whilst also possibly being the first marquee addition of the new regime on Tyneside.
Therefore, PIF must ensure that they can get a deal over the line for Coutinho. Fans would be delighted with this piece of business due to his experience and quality, and it would be a shrewd first swoop by the owners to show the supporters that they are serious about competing at the top end of the table.