Leicester City show interest in Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho

Leicester City are the latest entrant in the transfer race for the signing of Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona

The Brazilian international, 29, has endured a disappointing spell with Barcelona since moving from Liverpool in January 2018. He spent the 2019/20 campaign with Bayern Munich on loan from Barcelona.

After returning back to Camp Nou in August of last year, Philippe Coutinho could manage only 12 LaLiga appearances as he sustained a knee injury. He is currently working his way back into fitness after missing the second half of last season for Barcelona, who finished third on the table in 2020/21.

Barcelona are desperate to offload the Brazilian playmaker to help ease their wage bill, and it is claimed they would have to pay previous club Liverpool another 20million euros if he makes 10 more appearances for the club.

Inter Milan and AC Milan are also believed to have shown an interest in Coutinho, for whom the Catalan club are ready to accept a paltry £20million or sanction a loan move this summer.

Meanwhile, Leicester City have shown great intent of improving their squad in the summer transfer window. They have already signed Boubakary Soumare and Patson Daka from Lille and RB Salzburg respectively, whilst working on securing the signature of Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.

Brendan Rodgers could add a new creative midfielder to his squad

Having strengthened the middle of the park and forward options, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers could now shift his focus towards adding quality to the creative midfield department of his squad.

Dennis Praet spent the last season on the fringes, making just three appearances in 2021. A player of his quality should be playing regularly but that hasn’t happened at the King Power Stadium, with injuries being a big factor.

Ayoze Perez has been a solid signing since joining from Newcastle United, with his versatility across the forward line making him a valued player for Brendan Rodgers.

Is James Maddison heading for an exit?

James Maddison is excellent in the hole behind the main striker, making the Foxes tick with his creative passing and movement.

However, the 24-year-old Englishman had a mediocre second half of the last campaign, particularly after aggravating a hip injury against Aston Villa in February that saw him being omitted by England manager Gareth Southgate from his initial 33-man squad for the Euro 2020.

And now, Maddison is been linked with a move away to Arsenal, as manager Mikel Arteta wants to add creativity to his squad. Having lost Martin Odegaard, Arteta is eyeing a move for Maddison but Leicester City are expected to demand a substantial 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 the radar of Arsenal.

Coutinho’s stock has dipped massively in the last few years due to lack of form and fitness problems. He has massively failed to live up to the huge price tag at Barcelona, whilst losing his place in Brazil’s starting XI under Tite.

To put things straight, the Brazilian international must leave Barcelona this summer in order to get his career back on track. A move to Leicester that’ll reunite him with Rodgers could help, but not as a potential replacement for Maddison.

Thus, the Foxes must think twice before making a move for Coutinho and selling Maddison this summer.

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