Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a return for Philippe Coutinho this summer, saying he hopes the Brazil international "finds his luck" at Barcelona.
Per ESPN FC's Melissa Reddy, the Catalans are hoping to offload Coutinho and recoup much of the £142 million it took to land him in January 2018. Klopp said he still likes his former player but that such a big investment isn't within the Reds' budget this summer:
"In general, Phil Coutinho helps each team in the world, still—100 per cent. It's not about that. I like Phil, I think he's a fantastic footballer and all that stuff, but it would be a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big-money signing and it's not our year for that.
"It's just not possible. As I said, having him would make each team better, us included, but I really hope that he finds his luck at Barcelona.
"Or maybe he found it there. We have contact, but not that close contact that I know exactly how he is doing, but the rest is only newspaper talk and stuff like that."
Former Red Jamie Carragher told Pundit Arena he hoped the team would invest in the 27-year-old (h/t Metro):
"I still think they can improve in midfield. I still think they could add a creative player.
"They tried to sign one last season in Fekir, he's actually gone this summer for a lot cheaper [joining Real Betis this week]. I said it before, I'd love to see Liverpool bring back Coutinho back if that was possible in any way."
Per Reddy, Coutinho pushed hard for his La Liga switch, even handing in a transfer request in the summer of 2017. His dream transfer has proved anything but, however.
The Brazilian has been a bad fit at the Camp Nou, switching between a role on the wing and one in central midfield. He's been largely ineffective in both; according to WhoScored.com, he bagged just five La Liga goals in more than 2,000 minutes last season.
That has led to transfer speculation, and his agent, Kia Joorabchian, has not been satisfied with the lack of clarity he has gotten from the Blaugrana:
The most notable link has been with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, who could land Coutinho as part of a deal that takes Neymar back to Barcelona, according to Sky:
Per Reddy, UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool are not expected to be active for the rest of the transfer window. The squad came within a single point of winning the Premier League title last season, so keeping hold of their top talent was the primary objective this summer.
With Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, the starting XI already has plenty of attacking firepower, so a star creator like Coutinho isn't a necessity.