Everton could pull off a “massive coup” by signing Philippe Coutinho this summer, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the playmaker bring the best out of the likes of James Rodriguez at Goodison Park.
As reported by the Sun, Everton have agreed a £35million deal to sign the 28-year-old from Barcelona.
The deal reportedly hinges on Coutinho proving his fitness after a series of injury problems.
The Brazilian underwent knee surgery at the start of this month and is not expected to play again this season.
Despite his indifferent form and injury problems, Whelan insisted signing Coutinho would be a statement of intent for Everton.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It would be a fantastic signing. It has not worked out for Coutinho since he moved to Barcelona.
“He has been out on loan at Bayern Munich. It has not worked out there so maybe he needs that fresh start. We’ve seen the intention already from Ancelotti and Everton with the players he’d brought in.
“Do they miss that kind of creativity? Yes. Rodriguez, he plays a little bit more out wide. In that central area, would he improve the players in and around him? Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison – absolutely.
“What a force that would be, if you’ve got a Coutinho in there and that front three of Calvert-Lewin, Rodriguez and Richarlison. It’d be pretty scary for many defenders to come across.
“If they can get that over the line, it would be a massive coup for Everton football club. That would definitely progress them next season in terms of going out and winning football matches.”