The Coutinho Liverpool return rumour that just won’t go away

Another week doesn’t go by without talk of a possible return of Philippe Coutinho, but is there any truth to these rumours?

The Brazilian midfielder left Liverpool for Barcelona for £142m three years ago – a move that at the time many fans couldn’t understand. He had been the Reds’ playmaker for five years, growing in statue during that time and seen by many as key to the club’s aims of winning the Premier League.

His sale allowed Jurgen Klopp to bring in Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk – two expensive signings that proved to be worth their weight in gold. With a tight defence and Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up front Liverpool were unstoppable and went on to win the Champions League and Premier League.

Coutinho’s tenure at Barcelona was less successful and he was less popular with the fans. After 18 months he was shipped out to Bayern Munich on a season-long loan. On his return to the Nou Camp at the start of last season it became clear he wasn’t part of new manager Ronald Koeman’s plans and his agent has been trying to get him a move back to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Everton linked.

However, the latest development is that cash-strapped Barcelona have reportedly offered Coutinho back to Liverpool in the hope of being able to write off the £50m they still owe on the transfer. That debt has supposedly already been sold onto a third-party financial institution, so the likelihood of a move back to Anfield is almost zero.

Adam Bryant