Phil Thompson has a batsh*t mental idea for Liverpool: Replace Philippe Coutinho with Sergio Aguero, Dele Alli or Luis Suarez.
Liverpool are intent on keeping wantaway Coutinho, who has handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force his way to Barcelona.
The Catalan club are thought to be preparing a bid of around £90m for the Brazilian, who has not featured yet this season. The official reason for his absence is a back injury.
Former player and assistant manager Thompson reckons the club could take the Coutinho hit – provided they move for Aguero, Alli or Suarez to replace him.
“The ideal resolution is that the club will leave it very late and get as much as they can for him,” he told Sky Sports. “If he doesn’t want to stay then I’d rather see him sold for the best price, but the big issue is that there won’t be any players near is quality on the market.
“It’s probably too late in the window to get somebody in, so I think they’ll keep him for a season. Coutinho might argue that Barcelona won’t be there again but if you believe you’re a top player then a top club will always be interested.
“I think the owners will hold firm. They’ve backed themselves into a corner with the statements they’ve made along with Jurgen Klopp’s comments, so I just don’t see how they can go back on that, especially when the fans are already quite unhappy with the summer transfer business as deals for Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita are looking increasingly unlikely.
“The comments coming out from Barca saying that a deal is close might be a red flag to a bull, making the owners, who are adamant because of the deal they gave him six months ago, even more focused on standing their ground, so I think they will keep him.
“What they can do is try to find somebody out there, maybe even play Barcelona at their own game and say you can have Coutinho but we want Luis Suarez.
“Suarez might be unhappy with the Neymar situation. You don’t know whether a player is unhappy or a club are willing to sell until you ask the question.
“They could go after Dele Alli, who was a Liverpool supporter as a kid. Tottenham are a bit like Liverpool in that there’s always a price on a player.
“Sergio Aguero is another player that might be interested if he’s not happy at Manchester City, but it comes back to being late in the window and that is the difficult situation Liverpool find themselves in.
“Signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a start and would be available for the right money with his contract situation at Arsenal, but the club need to be ready to move if they do sell so we’re not caught short.”
So either sign a player from a direct title rival (one of whom is a striker, not a Coutinho-shaped midfielder), or sign one of Barcelona’s first teamers because they’d be fine with that? Excellent.