Leicester City are the youngest participants in the transfer race for the signing of Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
The 29-year-old Brazilian international has had a disappointing period at Barcelona since joining Liverpool in January 2018. He spent the 2019/20 season on loan from Barcelona to Bayern Munich.
After returning to Camp Nou last August, Philippe Coutinho was only able to play 12 La Liga games with a knee injury. He is currently working his way back into shape after missing the second half of last season for Barcelona, who finished third in the table in 2020/21.
Barcelona are desperate to fire the Brazilian playmaker to lower their payroll and it is alleged that they would have to pay previous club Liverpool an additional € 20m if they play 10 more games for the club.
Inter Milan and AC Milan are believed to have also shown an interest in Coutinho, for whom the Catalan club are poised to accept a meager £ 20million or approve a loan deal this summer.
Meanwhile, Leicester City have shown great intentions to improve their squad in the summer transfer window. They have already signed Boubakary Soumare and Patson Daka from Lille and RB Salzburg respectively while working on the signature of Ryan Bertrand from Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers could add a new creative midfielder to his squad
After strengthening midfield and forward options, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was able to focus on adding quality to the creative midfield division of his squad.
Dennis Praet spent last season on the sidelines, playing only three games in 2021. A player of his quality should play regularly, but that didn’t happen at King Power Stadium as injuries are a big factor.
Ayoze Perez has made a solid signing since joining from Newcastle United. His versatility in the forward line makes him a valued player for Brendan Rodgers.
Is James Maddison on his way to the exit?
James Maddison is excellent in the hole behind the main striker and makes the foxes tick with his creative passing game and movement.
However, the 24-year-old Englishman had a mediocre second half last season, particularly after sustaining a hip injury against Aston Villa in February that left England coach Gareth Southgate cut off his original 33-man squad for the European Championship 2020.
And now Maddison has been linked with a move to Arsenal as manager Mikel Arteta looks to add creativity to his squad. After losing Martin Odegaard, Arteta are looking to move on for Maddison but Leicester City are expected to ask for a significant amount of money to sell their talented midfielder.
Should the Foxes replace Maddison with Coutinho?
Leicester’s interest in Philippe Coutinho may have grown from the fact that Maddison is on Arsenal’s radar.
Coutinho’s stock has plummeted in recent years due to a lack of form and fitness issues. He failed to live up to the high price of Barcelona while losing his place in the Brazilian starting XI under Tite.
To be clear, the Brazilian international will have to leave Barcelona this summer to get his career going again. Moving to Leicester, reuniting him with Rodgers, could help, but not as a potential replacement for Maddison.
Hence, the Foxes will have to think twice before making a move for Coutinho and selling Maddison this summer.
I’m Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. As a qualified journalist and sports enthusiast, football is something I simply cannot live without and I write, discuss and analyze the game 24/7.