With the £34m capture of exciting Senegalese Sadio Mane from Southampton, and rumoured moves for further attacking talent, such as Lucas Moura, refusing to go away, Liverpool’s forward ranks for the season ahead appear even more bloated than before.
Coach Jurgen Klopp now has Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Jordon Ibe and others to pick from for the four spots furthest forward in his 4-2-3-1 ‘gegenpressing’ strategy.
The numbers don’t currently add up, meaning some Reds will have to be shed over the summer, but could the brightest star in the Anfield firmament be lured away from Merseyside?
Rumours have circulated since Klopp took over that Coutinho, for all his undoubted gifts, does not quite fit the German’s number 10 mould, although such whispers have mostly been of the 2 + 2 = 5 variety.
That being said, talk emerged at the start of June suggesting both Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona were interested in the silky Brazilian, with the former reportedly prepared to open the bidding at £25m, surely half what Coutinho is worth at still only 24 years old.
Liverpool have sold their most valuable players in the past two transfer windows, racking up over £100m in fees from Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling’s departures, so there’s plenty of recent precedent to encourage clubs planning for similar-sized bids.
Having brought in Mane, German goalkeeper Loris Karius and Cameroon centre-half Joel Matip since the end of 2015/16. Klopp is thought to be hunting Moura and young central midfielders Mahmoud Dahoud and Piotr Zielinski, of Borussia Monchengladbach and Udinese respectively.
With a new, ready-to-go left-back also badly required, Klopp is going to need at least another £50m beyond the £40m already spent. Selling Coutinho would raise that sum in one fell swoop.