Liverpool Reportedly Wanted Thomas Muller as Philippe Coutinho Replacement

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2017

Bayern Munich's German striker Thomas Mueller (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal with Bayern Munich's Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben during the German First division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v Mainz 05 in Munich, southern Germany, on September 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Guenter SCHIFFMANN / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050
 / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050        (Photo credit should read GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/Getty Images

Liverpool were reportedly eyeing up a move for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller in the final stages of the transfer window as a contingency plan for losing Philippe Coutinho. 

According to SportBild (h/t Sport Witness), Coutinho's proposed transfer to Barcelona didn't go through this summer because the German champions were unwilling to do business over Muller. The Brazilian would have been allowed to leave Merseyside had a deal for the Germany international been struck.

Liverpool would have been happy to invest around €100 million (£88 million) in Muller had they lost their No. 10, SportBild noted.

Barcelona's interest in Coutinho was one of the transfer stories of the summer. Phil McNulty of BBC Sport highlighted that despite the player handing in a transfer request, three bids were rejected for his services, with the final offer amounting to around £114 million.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool in action during the Carabao Cup third round match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on September 19, 2017 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - A
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told TV3 (h/t Football Espana) the Reds were demanding €200 million (£176 million) for Coutinho.

The former Inter Milan man made his first start of the Premier League season against Burnley on Saturday. As noted by football writer Jack Lusby, he was a little rusty:

Muller would not have been a direct stylistic replacement for Coutinho had he moved to Anfield, though he's a player who would be fascinating to watch in English football.

Having spent his entire senior career with Bayern, Muller has enjoyed incredible success, winning six Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League. He's also shone on the biggest stage for Germany, helping the team win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

DW Sports summed up the incredible career Muller has had on his 28th birthday recently:

Liverpool play at a breakneck pace in the final third and that's not really Muller's game. The German is all about finding space, linking play and finishing chances when they come to him.

Indeed, Sport Witness suggested the reports from SportBild may be with a view to making Bayern look stronger after a quiet summer window:

Muller's future has been discussed recently, though, especially given the way in which he struggled for form under manager Carlo Ancelotti last term. The man himself recently said in an interview with Kicker (h/t Anthony Jepson of the Manchester Evening News) he has considered a career away from the Allianz Arena.

Even so, Muller is a player who shares a great affinity with the club's supporters, and when he's on the pitch he remains one of the most intelligent forwards in the game. Therefore it is no surprise that Bayern weren't willing to do business. 

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