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The French outlet claim that Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, met PSG’s sporting director in a London hotel last week to discuss the future of Coutinho among many other topics.
As the report points out, the fact that Coutinho’s good friend Neymar signed for PSG in a world-record $265 million transfer from Barcelona in the summer could play a key part in the Brazilian midfielder joining PSG over Barca.
Coutinho made his intentions clear in the summer that he wanted to leave Liverpool for Barcelona but with the Reds standing firm and rejecting multiple bids from the Catalan giants, it appears an all-out battle between PSG and Barcelona next summer could see Coutinho’s transfer fee increase further.
Liverpool’s stance will likely remain that Coutinho isn’t for sale at any price, but the other issue here is simply how PSG can get away with this.
Already accused of wrongdoing by many other clubs across Europe when it comes to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules and the signings of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over the summer, spending close to another $180 million on Coutinho would surely tip PSG over the edge of FFP regulations despite their Qatari owners able to bankroll any deal PSG need.
Liverpool fans have been treated to some stunners from Coutinho this season (see: free kick at Leicester; powerful curler at Newcastle) but despite him getting on with his business on the pitch the Brazilian continues to be at the center of speculation off it.
Staying with PSG, their Belgian right back Thomas Meunier is wanted by Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, according to reports in Spain and Italy.
Meunier, 26, is said to be valued at around $40 million and the Belgian international has fallen behind Dani Alves in the pecking order at the Parc des Princes this season, much to his annoyance.
Speaking in a recent interview the former Club Brugge man revealed he was fine with rotating with Serge Aurier at right back for PSG last season but now feels totally out of Unai Emery’s plans.
“Since Alves arrived I asked myself questions, this is sure,” Meunier said. “After the good season I had last year, I told myself I would be needed, to be a bit more grateful and that my status within the line-up had changed. Emery tells me he didn’t forget the work done and that he considers me. The problem is that I feel like a second option.”
Outside of veterans Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young (who are wingers by trade) playing at right back, Mourinho’s other options in that position include an often shaky Matteo Darmian or playing center backs Phil Jones or Eric Bailly at right back.
Meunier’s ability to drive forward from right back and connect passes and whip in inviting crosses would be very useful for a United attack spearheaded by Romelu Lukaku or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mourinho was on the hunt for a wide player all summer long but didn’t prevail.
Is Meunier the man for Mourinho? In a World Cup year, perhaps Meunier will arrive at Old Trafford in January.