Roberto Firmino reacts to Philippe Coutinho’s potential return to Liverpool
Roberto Firmino has given his verdict after Philippe Coutinho was linked with a sensational return to Liverpool.
Reports on Sunday claimed Coutinho had made a personal plea to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp as Barcelona look to offload the attacking midfielder.
Coutinho has been linked with a return to the Premier League after struggling to live up to expectations at Camp Nou – with Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle among the clubs to have been credited with an interest in the 27-year-old.
But the Brazilian wants a return to Anfield, where he lit up the Premier League with 54 goals in 201 appearances before joining Barca in a £142million deal in January 2018.
That's according to a report from Sunday World, which claims his agent Kia Joorabchian has confirmed Coutinho will take a pay cut to secure his dream return to Liverpool.
And Firmino, who struck up a friendship with his compatriot during their time together at Anfield, has shown what he thinks about the idea by liking a post on Instagram about Coutinho's apparent bid to return.
Barcelona are believed to value Coutinho at £80million, but last week a report from Spanish newspaper Sport claimed the La Liga giants are willing to drop their asking price to £44.5m to get him off the wage bill.
That's not far off the £52m price tag which Liverpool were not to prepared to meet to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig with club finances taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
But Steve Nicol reckons his former club should jump at the chance to re-sign Coutinho – if the price is right.
"Absolutely. Why wouldn’t you?" the former Reds defender told ESPN.
"I can’t think of one reason why you wouldn’t. The only place he’s excelled at is Liverpool. The place loves him, he loves the place.
"Can you imagine adding Coutinho to a squad that right now are still champions of Europe even though they’re out of this year’s competition, and are going to win the Premier League?
"You’re going to add a player with the ability of Coutinho, who is going to come in and be in the same situation as a Timo Werner for example, where he is there to fight to get in the starting XI."
Nicol said Coutinho would have to take a pay cut so that Liverpool would be signing him on their own terms.
"If it’s cut-price, yeah. Listen, this guy’s making over £13m clear a year. He’s going to have to take a hit," said Nicol.
"The price to buy him is going to have to take a hit but if the money’s right, [it’s an] absolute no-brainer.
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"If the money’s right, this would be absolutely fantastic for Liverpool."
Coutinho has spent this season on loan at Bayern Munich, scoring eight goals and providing six assists, but the Bundesliga side did not take up their option to sign him permanently.
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