Will Coutinho join Newcastle United?

    Phillipe Coutinho is a name that has been infesting headlines of late. The Brazillian broke through at Liverpool and scored 41 goals in 152 Premier League appearances. Some phenomenal displays attracted transfer interest from some of the top clubs across Europe. Barcelona went on to sign the player after he had spent 5 years at the club, for a hefty £142M fee. However, he has not lived up to the expectations that came with his price tag. He never really established himself at the Camp Nou and he was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 season.

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    With a total of 14 goal contributions in 22 Bundesliga appearances, the 27-year-old has raised eyebrows, especially when you consider his form for Barca.  Bayern had the option to make this loan stint permanent for a reported £105million during the next transfer window, but club chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed the club decided they wouldn’t trigger that clause.

    The Catalan side are very eager to sell the midfielder this summer to provide funds so that they can sign transfer targets such as PSG’s Neymar and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez. Coutinho has expressed that he would like to return to the English top-flight. 

    Coutinho’s agent has voiced his client’s interests, “Everything is a possibility. After the Champions League game he played in England we had a long chat about it.

    “The Premier League is something that he has always enjoyed playing in, and loved playing in, and would probably love to come back and play in.”

    Chelsea are one of the clubs that have been interested in signing Coutinho, however, their finances will be severely affected – due to the global health crisis – and they are also interested in other pricy players that are further up their transfer target list.

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    This leaves us with Newcastle United. The Geordie club are one of the only other English sides that are majorly interested in the number-10. You may be wondering why “little old Newcastle” are linked with a player of Coutinho’s calibre. Well, an approaching Saudi-backed takeover would provide merely unlimited funds for the Magpies to spend on transfers. 

    The consortium is Fronted by Amanda Staveley – who was very significant in the deals that took the Sheikh Mansour to Man City and also a deal between Barclays Bank and Qatar’s government – and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s PIF fund. They would be taking over from controversial Sports Direct CEO, Mike Ashley, who has put Newcastle fans into dismay with a reluctance to spend any money to strengthen the team.

    However much it would be good for the fans’ morale, the takeover has appeared to be very controversial. Sports broadcaster BeIN has urged that the Premier League block the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle United due to alleged involvement in television piracy. 

    If Newcastle do complete this takeover it would let them improve their squad considerably and Coutinho is extremely appealing, especially given that he has past experience of playing in the English top-flight. Coutinho would reportedly cost Newcastle around £71million for the Brazil ace.

    Mauricio Pochettino and Rafa Benitez are favourites to become manager of the North-Eastern side. If the latter returned to Newcastle, the Brazilian would be the first option.

    But Coutinho is not Newcastle’s only option. The Telegraph reports that both John Stones and Edinson Cavani are part of their transfer plans. 

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