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It just will not go away, will it? Rumours are circulating that our very own Brazilian maestro will be off to join Barcelona to play with MSN, well maybe without the N. MSC perhaps? While there could be an argument to say that you take £100 million for a man who can be fairly inconsistent at times but I disagree. You play Coutinho week in and week out because with him on the pitch moments of magic are possible, you do not think about what he is doing but what he could do. If we do sell him, that is a space in the squad that needs filling because if your backs are against the wall you need a player like Coutinho to get you out of it. Who do you bring in to fill that void? I have lined up a number of possible replacements in this article. I will not even begin to try and predict how much these players will go for, it seems pretty impossible these days. So, I have referred to using Transfermarkt again for the valuations for most of the players. Christian Pulisic
  • Age: 18                                                        
  • Value: £15.30m (transfermarkt)
  • Team: Borussia Dortmund              
  • Nationality: United States
Pulisic has been on Klopps radar for a while now, having been linked with the player for a number of transfer windows now and Klopp has spoken highly of the American. All of the papers suggest that he would be Klopps go-to replacement for Coutinho (sky sports) . However, at only 18 you have to wonder if he is the finished article just yet. The major obstacle surrounding this potential transfer though is Borussia Dortmund. With Klopps former team not wanting to sell the midfielder just yet. He is already one of the USA’s best players and at 18 you have to think he has a lot of potential. More importantly for Borussia Dortmund perhaps, a fantastic potential to be a large payday for them a few more years down the line. Riyad Mahrez
  • Age: 26                                                        
  • Value: £30m+ (Evening Standard)
  • Team: Leicester City                            
  • Nationality: Algeria
The midfielder has a Premier League title to his name, wants to leave and can score a beauty from long range. Roma have been heavily linked with a £30m move for the player all summer as their replacement for Salah but the deal has stalled as Leicester City want closer to £50m. Last season was not the best of campaigns for the Algerian with him only scoring 6 goals and 3 assists compared to the 17 goals and 11 assists from their title winning campaign. Perhaps this is a motivation issue for the player? He has the ability that is for sure and perhaps a new club would invigorate him. In my opinion, he would be a great short-term option for Liverpool to hire him as a mercenary for a season or two before we find the perfect replacement. Alexis Sanchez
  • Age: 28                                                        
  • Value: £55.25m (transfermarkt)
  • Team: Arsenal                                         
  • Nationality: Chile
If we lose Coutinho we will get a lot of stick, Barca feeder club this, selling club that. What better way to shut up the rival fans then putting our money where our mouth is and make this marque signing. He fills the void in the team that Coutinho left, as the player who can perform moments of magic. There were times last season where he won games for Arsenal on his own and if we want to be in the business of winning titles then that is the sort of player that we need in our team. Will it happen though? I doubt it, the player looks like he is either staying at Arsenal, or moving to PSG. Arsene for some reason believes that it is a good thing to have him in the last year of his contract (Independent) and is more than willing to make that risk it seems. Cheeky free signing next year maybe? Ivan Rakitic
  • Age: 29                                      
  • Value: £38.25m (transfermarkt), Or part/exc with the Coutinho deal
  • Team: Barcelona                                   
  • Nationality: Croatian
Ivan Rakitic is a creative midfield player that I think of as a Modric lite. Good passing, good vision and a fantastic eye for a good free kick. Set pieces are something we would miss if Phillipe was to go to Barcelona so Ivan would be able to step up to the plate in that respect. This link has come about as apparently Barcelona are willing to let the Croat go to Liverpool as part of the deal for Coutinho (Star). While not a like for like replacement for Coutinho, he does bring great vision to the team from a midfield position. Klopp has played Coutinho in this deeper role from the back end of last season and in some of pre-season so far. You only have to look at the pass over the top to Salah being an indication of what we are capable of when Coutinho is in the team. I believe that Rakitic could also make that pass. Ben Woodburn?
  • Age: 17                                                        
  • Value: Free
  • Team: Liverpool                                                      
  • Nationality: Welsh
Perhaps you do not want to spend money? You want to look in house for a suitable replacement. Ben Woodburn has been playing a lot in midfield during pre-season and looking good in that position to boot. While he is not by any means as good as Phillipe now, there is no reason to believe he couldn’t have the potential to be if given the game time? Maybe he is not the best option to replace Coutinho immediately. Maybe you get in a Mahrez or a Rakitic first to fill the gap for 3 or 4 years until he is ready. If Phillipe leaves however I would like to see the Welshman get more game time for the reds which will be critical to his development. It is about time we saw an academy player do well for Liverpool and stay here to win trophy’s.
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