OH BOY, WE GOT OURSELVES A TRANSFER WINDOW NOW! Just hours after Tottenham Hotspur fans finished a collective freakout about a bogus report that linked Arsenal with a loan move for Barcelona attacking midfielder Coutinho, there’s a new round of articles floating around the football media that’s saying that it’s actually SPURS that have made a loan bid for the former Liverpool man.
Multiple outlets including ESPN are reporting that while the links between the Gunners and Barcelona were bogus, Spurs have a real interest in bringing Coutinho to north London, with talkSPORT and the Times of London (£) saying that Spurs have even gone as far as to make a loan bid.
Just wait, it gets better. There are reports that suggest that Barcelona are demanding a loan fee of £21m for the year, and that Spurs would cover Coutinho’s full wages of £200k+/week. The implication is that Coutinho would be a kick-the-can-down-the-road replacement for Christian Eriksen, whom Spurs would then try and offload before the close of the window, possibly to Manchester United but more likely abroad. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that both Barcelona and Daniel Levy are currently in Miami, Florida.
This is crazy. Just... utterly bugs—t nuts. The idea that Spurs might sell Eriksen for, say, £50m and then turn around and commit £21m in loan fees PLUS WAGES to Barcelona for a loan is simply beyond the pale and not how Tottenham actually work. It would make me wonder if Levy has developed an addiction to huffing construction adhesive.
The idea of a move for Coutinho isn’t without some priors — Mauricio Pochettino apparently worked with Coutinho for a season when both were at Espanyol, and he’d be a pretty direct Eriksen replacement should they try and ship him off. He may have struggled a bit at Barcelona but he still produced some pretty good numbers and was REALLY good in the Premier League with Liverpool. He’d undoubtedly be a good addition to Tottenham’s offense.
But blowing £21m to borrow a 27-year old Coutinho for a season when that money could be spent actually signing Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis is mind-bending. The suggestion has been made that Spurs are resource-rich but cash-poor at the moment, which is one reason why the Lo Celso deal is taking so long — Betis might want a bunch of the money up front and Spurs perhaps don’t have that kind of liquidity at present. Even so, this Coutinho rumor, wow.
There are gonna be some BIG OPINIONS in the comments for this one, and I’m ready for them. But if you were waiting for an out of nowhere crazy-go-nuts set your pants on fire transfer rumor here in the waning days of the window, well you’ve got one now, buddy!
UPDATE (1:30PM ET): Conflicting reports have emerged (as expected) regarding the structure of a possible loan, with Le 10 Sport suggesting that Spurs will pay a loan fee but Barcelona will eat the wages: