Philippe Coutinho is fit to play in Brazil’s two World Cup qualifiers this week, according to the national team doctor.
That’s despite Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp‘s assertion that Coutinho is missing from the Reds not because of a desire to move to Barcelona, but because of a back injury.
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The Liverpool Echo has this quote from Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar, “From a medical point of view, Philippe is in the perfect condition to play.”
Coutinho’s availability has been listed as “off limits” by Liverpool all summer long, and at one point Barca was said to relent on the idea of signing him. But reports of the player’s desire to join Barca have gone from “if Liverpool’s okay with it” to “he’s emailed a transfer request” as the weeks have gone on.
The latest reported offer would reach $176 million with incentives, and rumors say Liverpool have any number of options to help replace him. That includes Monday reports of Renato Sanches and Thomas Lemar coming to Anfield.
Lemar has a 14-goal season at age 21, something Coutinho reached just last season, and also has 24 assists with Monaco. The in-form Reds would risk Lemar taking time to adjust to the level of the Premier League, but that’s about it.
The Reds could make $100 million in profit in making the “exchange” of attackers. Wow.
Regardless, at least we’ll get to see Coutinho work his magic for the first time in a while.