Newcastle could pull off Coutinho 'gamble' after update from Spain - pundit
Kevin Phillips has claimed Newcastle should only move to sign Phillipe Coutinho once they survive relegation from the Premier League.
The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted signing the 29-year-old “luxury player” in January would be a “gamble”.
According to SPORT (cited by Sport Witness on 9 November), Barcelona are “expecting” and waiting for a bid from Newcastle for Coutinho in January and will accept a loan proposal that includes a mandatory purchase option.
The midfielder could become Eddie Howe’s first signing at St James’ Park.
Coutinho has started just four league matches for cash-strapped Barcelona this season after only managing eight league starts last term following a serious knee injury.
As such, Phillips insisted Newcastle could draft in the former Liverpool star next summer in order to build up his fitness with a pre-season regime.
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“He’s a good player, but I think you’d have to get others in to save Newcastle from relegation,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
“He would help with his impact, but he’s shown that he is a luxury player. He might have two good games and then disappear for a while.
“At this stage of the season, and with how it’s shaping up for Newcastle – they should be looking at players who can produce week-in, week-out.
“They need people who will run through brick walls, and Coutinho hasn’t really played enough football to guarantee that.
“There’s no doubt he’s got quality, but it would be a gamble to bring him in during the January window.
“Maybe if they survive, they can get him in and give him a full pre-season to get him ready.”