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Journalist Claims Manchester United Will Rival Leicester City For Barcelona Ace: Right Fit For Ole?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition of Mundo Deportivo (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), renowned journalist Miguel Rico claimed that Manchester United are set to rival Leicester City in pursuit of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich. Rico has also stated that both the Red Devils and the Foxes have reached out to the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, to discuss the possibility of a summer transfer. It is understood that the Brazilian midfield ace is keen on making a return to the Premier League with the Catalans hoping to demand around €80-90m for their prized asset during the summer transfer period (via Sport Witness).

Coutinho’s Inconsistent Form At The Allianz Arena This Season

The former Liverpool player has enjoyed a promising loan spell at the Allianz Arena but is still looking far from his best due to his struggles to find consistency as far as his performances are concerned in certain matches this season. He tends to fade in and out of games which has been a significant cause of concern for the Bavarian giants over the past nine months.

The 27-year-old has registered nine goals and eight assists in 32 appearances for Hans-Dieter Flick’s team this term in multiple competitions. His numbers prove that he can still bring a lot to the table at the highest level but has sometimes been guilty of not firing on all cylinders going forward.

Coutinho has averaged 2.6 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.5 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Bundesliga this season. The Rio de Janeiro-born midfielder has bettered his stats in Europe where he has averaged 3.9 shots, 1.7 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per game in the seven UEFA Champions League matches he has been a part of so far (stats via whoscored).

Coutinho has also featured in 61 international matches for the Brazilian national side, netting 17 goals for his homeland in the process. Brazil manager Tite will expect him to find some form in the upcoming campaign ahead of the 2021 Copa America which gets underway at the end of next season after the competition was postponed due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Manchester United to rival Leicester City For Philippe Coutinho who is in action in the photo
Philippe Coutinho of FC Bayern Muenchen runs with the ball during the DFB Cup round of sixteen match between FC Bayern Muenchen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena on February 05, 2020, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What Are The Barcelona Maestro’s Best Attributes?

The Vasco da Gama youth product is a technically gifted footballer who boasts outstanding ball-control and is full of trickery that helps him get the better of his markers in the opposition half. He can hit the ball with a lot of power and accuracy from long range. Coutinho can also curl the ball into the opposition net if given time and space to shoot, which explains how he has netted so many breath-taking goals during his loan spell at Bavaria.

However, Coutinho has only managed to impress in patches during his campaign. He can also be a bit lazy when not in possession of the ball that can sometimes make him a liability on the field similar to what Mesut Ozil has often been guilty of during his spell at Arsenal.

Is Coutinho The Right Fit For The Red Devils?

Even then, the pros outweigh the cons of recruiting him, so the Red Devils should try their best to win the chase to land the Brazil international this summer. He will not only add more goals and creativity to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield but also enhance the quality of his first-team at Old Trafford. Coutinho has the potential to strike up a dangerous attacking partnership with Bruno Fernandes, which makes it a necessity for Man United to bring him to the Theatre of Dreams this summer.

All in all, the South American sensation will be an excellent fit for the Mancunian giants as he has already proven his worth in English football. However, it would be easier said than done for Solskjaer to recruit him as Coutinho is a former Liverpool player, so he will likely be reluctant to join one of his former rivals and risk tarnishing his legacy at Anfield.

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