Philippe Coutinho could be key to Liverpool’s transfer business in January – because he is pushing Thomas Muller out of the Bayern Munich team.
Former Liverpool attacker Coutinho has jumped ahead of Muller in the Bayern pecking order since joining on loan from Barcelona in the summer, with Muller having started the last five matches on the bench.
Muller, 30, has reportedly decided to leave Bayern due to his lack of playing time, and will be on the radar of Premier League clubs ahead of the transfer window opening in the new year.
While he could be a target for Manchester United , who are desperate to improve their attacking options, Muller has also been linked with Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp reportedly tried to sign him in 2017.
And German football expert Kevin Hatchard reckons a move to the Reds could become a reality.
“I think there is a genuine discomfort for Muller at the moment because he’s been on the bench for the last five games,” he told the Liverpool Echo’s Blood Red podcast .
“People go on about his goal output has dropped, but you look at the assists, he is still very much involved in a lot of the good stuff Bayern can do.
“He’s in a position he’s never really been in at Bayern which is somebody who is having to really scrap for a starting spot.
“The arrival of Coutinho has put him under pressure because Muller operates in that No.10 role. It’s probably the biggest challenge of Muller’s career.”
Hatchard added: “I still think he is a very, very good footballer and any top Premier League team would benefit from having him in the building.
“The fluid nature of it would appeal to Muller, without question because his movement is incredible.
“He’s so elusive, he picks up positions a lot of players simply don’t and I think he’d be a huge boost to Liverpool.
“I think Premier League clubs will be on alert.”
However, Muller would arguably find it just as difficult to break into the Liverpool team, with Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane established as their fearsome forward line.
Hatchard said: “They’ll be monitoring his progress but that block remains, how can you persuade him that he can be a regular first team player.”
Klopp was keen on signing Muller in 2017 but Bayern refused to listen to offers at the time, according to German publication Bild .