Liverpool's rebuilding process is about to take a giant step in the right direction as Inter Milan's midfielder Philippe Coutinho appears to be on the verge of joining the Reds.
ESPN's Mike Whalley reports that it is "understood" that the Reds have agreed on an £8.5 million transfer fee. He adds that Coutinho will be taking a medical next week. He also needs a work permit.
So, there is still time for this deal to not go through, but it would be a surprise if anything was found in the medical that would prevent the transfer of the 20-year-old Coutinho. This is good news for the Reds.
Coutinho is a box-to-box player who has a magnificent long-scoring touch. He is also excellent on free kicks. Combine his presence with the recent acquisition of forward Daniel Sturridge, and Liverpool will have a tremendously improved attack.
Not that goal scoring has been a huge problem for the Reds. Liverpool is currently seventh in the EPL table, but they are tied for fifth in goals scored.
Still, extra punch on the offensive end is always a good thing. Besides, this move is going to have more long-term benefits than present ones.
The young Coutinho is full of potential, and he is far from a polished product.
His statistics for the Nerazzurri are as modest as his playing time. In Serie A play, Coutinho has just one goal while earning three starts in his 10 total appearances.
However, with Espanyol last January, Coutinho notched five goals and an assist in 16 appearances.
The flexibility and diversity Coutinho brings to the Reds will pay instant dividends, but make no mistake about it, the fruits of this deal will be enjoyed further down the road in Liverpool's rebuilding process.
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