Liverpool should be doing “all they can” to reach a loan agreement with Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho, says John Aldridge, with a short-term deal making sense to “all parties”.
Jurgen Klopp has offered little indication that he will be joining the chase for a Brazil international playmaker when the next window opens.
Plenty of Premier League clubs are said to be mulling over a move to bring a player who has previously flourished at Anfield back to English football.
Opinion on whether or not Liverpool should form part of that pursuit remains mixed, with many eager to point out that a side on the brink of title glory have moved on from the South American schemer .
Aldridge concedes that Coutinho’s push for the exits back in January 2018 left “a nasty taste in the mouth”, with bridges that will need to be rebuilt in order for any deal to be explored.
He is, however, adamant that a player with strong ties to the Reds, and one who retains match-altering ability despite his recent struggles at Barca and Bayern Munich, should be among those Klopp is considering.
Liverpool were short on attacking spark when making their return to competitive action in a 0-0 derby draw with Everton, and Coutinho could be the man to add greater depth to their ranks.
Former Reds frontman Aldridge told Sunday World: “I think Liverpool should do all they can to bring him back to Anfield.
“I know there will be some fans out there who might be surprised by my call for Liverpool’s owners to hand Coutinho a route back to Anfield, but let me explain why I think this transfer could work for all parties.
“Despite his troubles in Spain, we are talking about a class player here who lit up the Premier League. He was a big hero of the Anfield faithful during his time at the club.
“He understands how English football works and would not need long to acclimatise if he returns to Liverpool. Crucially, this loan move could be funded within the tight financial boundaries Klopp is working with this summer.”
Aldridge added, with Klopp having already passed up the chance to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig: “Liverpool’s decision to pull out of a deal to sign Werner confirmed they are short of cash after the coronavirus pandemic ripped a hole on football’s finances, but a one-year deal should be affordable.
“Coutinho didn’t handle his exit from Liverpool as well as he could have done. With his eagerness to complete what he saw as a dream move to Barcelona seeing him pull a few tricks to get out of the club.
“That left a nasty taste in the mouth, but we are heading into this summer with Liverpool openly admitting they can’t afford to sign top players. They could have a chance to get around that by getting Coutinho in on loan.
“Liverpool can’t afford to stand still and allow their opponents to close the gap they have opened up on the opposition in the Premier League. So that’s why I say a deal to bring Coutinho back on loan would make sense for all parties.”