MANCHESTER UNITED could cost Liverpool £17.6m if they sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.
That’s according to the Daily Mirror, who report that the Reds earn £4.2m for every 25 La Liga appearances Coutinho makes, meaning they would miss out on £8.8m of appearance bonuses and a further £4.2m if he doesn’t play another seven this season.
The Brazilian left Anfield to join Barca in a stunning £142m move in January 2018.
However, he has failed to establish himself at the Nou Camp and is believed to be missing the Premier League.
The La Liga champions, therefore, could decide to cash in on Coutinho at the end of the season.
The Mirror also claim that the midfielder has been in contact with several United stars over a potential £110m switch to Old Trafford.
Despite potentially losing out on £17.6m if Coutinho leaves Barca, Liverpool are guaranteed to earn the £4.4m owed should they qualify for the Champions League next season as the Catalans currently sit top of La Liga.
And they could also make another £4.4m if Ernesto Valverde’s men win the Champions League.
Liverpool have struggled to find a replacement for Coutinho since he left for Spain.
“They lost Coutinho last January and they never replaced him”
Last week, former Reds centre-back Jamie Carragher criticised his old side for failing to do so after their 0-0 draw away at Everton.
“They lost Coutinho last January and they never replaced him,” he said.
“They tried to replace him with someone from Lyon [Nabil Fekir] but they couldn’t get him.
“Even if Liverpool win the league I still think it is a position that they need to try and fill.”
And Carragher’s former team-mate Danny Murphy agrees that Coutinho’s absence has been a huge blow for Liverpool.
“I think if you ask Liverpool supporters if they would like that kind of player back ie. Coutinho then yes of course,” he told Match of the Day 2.
“I think it is always best to have one and they don’t have one that you can hang your hat on at the moment in that role.”