If ever a reason was needed as to why any elongated length of time without mainstream football is a really bad thing, don't look any further than being told that Philippe Coutinho is seriously being considered for a return to Liverpool.
It's a whisper that's stayed ever since the Brazilian joined Barcelona in all honesty, that's how the rumour mill works after all, but over the last few days, there's been a
Now, the logical next step is to look at who's been linked with him over the last few months, and at the very least we can rule out some teams.
Nice of Philippe Coutinho to rule out a move to Manchester United out of respect for Liverpool. But where was his respect for Liverpool when he put in a transfer request and forced through a move to Barcelona?— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) June 17, 2019
Linked with Chelsea? This is less about it not happening, and more about it being physically impossible for the Blues to register new players until the summer of 2020.
Linked with Paris Saint-Germain? The whole reason he joined
Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt with their tip, this is a rumour that is screaming for the writer or editor to use just a tiny fraction of their common sense to not put something like this out there in the social media ecosystem.
THE REAL STORY
It's been made very clear this summer what Liverpool want to do in the transfer market and how much they want to spend - or rather how much they want not to spend - on targets ahead of the new season.
An upgrade on Simon Mignolet? Sure, that'd be grand.
Maybe an understudy for Andy Robertson? Sounds good.
Doubling your record transfer to fill a position which already has ample cover and to bring back a player who was chomping at the bit leave just one year ago? Hmmm, maybe not.
The short story, Liverpool don't need Coutinho. They don't. They don't want him either. Not at that price at least.
Throughout the latter stages of the season, we were told over and over again by the club, by
And that's what Coutinho's summer transfer window will almost certainly look like, nothing much more than a glorified game of stick or twist, where he'll probably be seen as a loser in either outcome.