Philippe Coutinho to Man Utd: Barcelona star makes transfer decision because of Liverpool | Football | Sport
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to improve his playing squad after a disappointing end to the season which saw United miss out on Champions League qualification.
Coutinho, 27, is seen as a perfect potential addition at Old Trafford after after impressing in the Premier League for Liverpool between 2013 and 2018.
However, Sky Sports have now claimed that the playmaker will refuse any possible deal to join United as a mark of respect for his former club.
The Brazil international scored 41 goals and assisted a further 35 in his 152 appearances for the Reds before forcing through a transfer to Spain.
Barcelona paid an initial £105 million, which could rise to £142 million, but the move has so far been underwhelming.
Despite having a hand in 32 goals in 76 fixtures he has found himself regularly out of favour under Ernesto Valverde, tempting the club to cut their losses by moving Coutinho on.
South American football expert Tim Vickery has given his thoughts on the former Liverpool fan favourite, and revealed why the move to the Camp Nou hasn’t worked out as expected and the player’s ‘logical’ next step.
“It hasn’t worked and I’m not sure how it can work,” Vickery told Sky Sports News.
“I’m also convinced that he couldn’t say no. How can you say no when Barcelona come knocking? As a Brazilian, you could never say no, but there are clearly two problems.
“One is that they signed him as an [Andres] Iniesta replacement, and he’s not. Nobody’s an Iniesta replacement, but certainly not Coutinho.
“He’s not a genuine midfielder, he does his best work in the final 30 metres of the field. He was signed for a role that he’s not fit for.
“Also with [Luis] Suarez losing a little bit of pace, that’s why [Ousmane] Dembele is ahead in the pecking order.
“You can’t see him fitting into the midfield three and you can’t see him fitting into the front three – and his relationship with the supporters seems to have broken down.
“The problem is Barcelona spent so much money on him; how much of a loss are they prepared to take to offload him?
“The most logical place for him to come, surely, would be the Premier League. He did very well at Liverpool.”