Reports: Liverpool to make £35 million move for former player
What's the story?
Philippe Coutinho publicly flirted with Barcelona all summer long after Neymar's big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain and repeatedly attempted to a force through a move to Spain. Liverpool responded to Coutinho's attempts to leave with a certain pig-headed stubbornness that made them come across as jilted lovers, hanging on to someone who was clearly ready to move on.
However, it seems like Klopp has finally come to terms with the inevitability of Coutinho's departure, and plans to replace the Brazilian have started to take shape. According to reports by Soccerisma, Liverpool have been linked with Suso, an ex-Liverpool player who used to ply his trade at Anfield not so long ago.
In case you didn't know...
Suso joined Liverpool's Academy on loan in 2010 from Cadiz and signed his first professional contract for the Reds at the age of 17. Two years later, he made his first-team debut in a Europa League match against Young Boys.
The midfielder made intermittent appearances for Liverpool in the following year before being loaned out to Almeria. In spite of a bright start, the Spaniard was eventually forced to warm the bench for the better part of a year before being recalled to Merseyside.
His last few months at Liverpool were fairly unremarkable and he was restricted by a lack of playing time. Suso made only a single League Cup appearance in the first half of the 2014-15 season but scored a goal as well as two penalties in a shootout.
He moved to Milan in early 2015, and after spending a year on the bench in Milan was loaned out to Genoa. A managerial change at Milan meant that upon Suso's return to the Rossoneri, he was given more game time, which allowed him to quickly establish himself and become a first-team regular.
The heart of the matter
Phillipe Coutinho looks like he has his heart set on a move to Barcelona, and it could go through as early as January. With Adam Lallana sidelined due to injury, this move would leave Liverpool short of options in attack, and Jurgen Klopp will attempt to strengthen his side by signing an attacking midfielder.
Suso has begun the season well and has six goals and three assists in sixteen appearances for Milan. The Spaniard signed a new deal for AC Milan in September which will keep him in Milan till 2020. The deal also has a transfer clause included, which means that Liverpool would have to shell out £35 million for the midfielder.
Milan have spent aggressively this season, but the effects of that expenditure have not been immediate. Milan currently sit in seventh place in the Serie A table, 13 points behind league-leaders Napoli. Losing a key player would be counter-productive in their bid to win the Serie A, and money is not a pressing concern for the club at the moment.
Of course, if Liverpool activate Suso's transfer clause, it won't really be up to Milan, but it appears unlikely that Suso will return to Liverpool at this point in time.