Manchester United handed chance to bring in former Liverpool star
Barcelona have offered Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho to Manchester United on loan next season, according to Old Trafford sources.
The former Liverpool hero is currently on loan at Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga giants have informed his parent club that they will not be taking up their option to sign the 27-year-old this summer.
Barca have had little luck in finding an outright buyer for Coutinho, who has failed to light up the Camp Nou following his £142million move from Anfield in 2018.
The Anfield club were even sounded out last year by the La Liga giants about re-signing their former star player at a fraction of the price they received, with little enthusiasm shown for it.
And now United insiders are claiming Coutinho has also been touted to the Red Devils in recent weeks for £70m or on a season-long loan.
Barca want the samba ace off their books completely, which certainly seems a remote possibility during the current uncertainty in the market.
However, they are also offering to pay half towards his £290,000-per-week wages, should United or another club want to take the loan bait.
There is no indication United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will bite and his need for a creative midfield outlet has been lessened greatly by the immediate impact of Portugal schemer Bruno Fernandes.
Coutinho, though, displayed his best form in the Premier League and the South American’s advisers are now peddling his name to other clubs in England.
United will also be aware the playmaker may not want to move to Old Trafford due to his Liverpool connections.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have apparently all been told, however, that Coutinho would jump at the chance to peddle his wares at their clubs.
It’s understood United did not dismiss Coutinho out of hand, possibly because they are still counting on bringing in another top midfielder if Paul Pogba does head for the exit door in the coming months.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Leicester City playmaker James Maddison have both been identified but Coutinho’s previous pedigree could yet be a decent and cheaper fall-back for United.