Philippe Coutinho to Newcastle? Thursday’s transfer news

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These are the Newcastle transfer rumors that make sense.

The Magpies are being linked with a loan for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho as the Catalan giants look to offload one of their massive salaries.

Newcastle is not expected to spend an awful lot of money on transfer price tags this January, focusing on targeted buys to improve the team and keep it in the Premier League, but salaries are another story.

Attack might not be the first place you expect Newcastle to fill holes, with Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Joe Willock comprising a bit of strength for the winless bunch, but a single injury could change that and there aren’t too many outright bad outfits in the Premier League this season.

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In other words, the margins for error are razor-thin.

Coutinho has become a bit of a punch line because Barcelona badly overpaid for him and Liverpool was hesitant to accept that big overbid and subsequently won a whole lot of football games, but he remains an intriguing prospect for a team that’s ready to take a calculated risk.

The 29-year-old has a single goal in just under 500 minutes this season and wasn’t much better last season, but he had 11 goals and nine assists in an expanded role on loan to Bayern Munich in 2019-20.

The idea of Coutinho on one wing and Saint-Maximin on the other with Callum Wilson ready to feast on the spoils is a solid idea, with Miguel Almiron in the hole in front of a pair of defensive midfielders

This one makes a bit of sense, doesn’t it? And Coutinho has a contract through 2022-23, so any success not only makes him an interesting buy for Newcastle but any club interested in a higher-level reclamation project.