Barcelona superstar Philippe Coutinho, who is a reported target for Chelsea and Manchester United has ruled out a return to the Premier League this summer.
In a recent interview, as reported by the Mirror, Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho has insisted that he is not seeking a move away from Barcelona and does not have a Premier League return on his mind currently, amid strong interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Premier League leaders Liverpool in January 2018, in a deal worth £142 million. While he did enjoy a solid start in the second half of the 2017-18 season, the 26-year-old has struggled to live up to the expectations placed on him in the ongoing campaign.
Coutinho has struggled to nail down a place in the starting XI for Ernesto Valverde’s side and while he has gotten a regular run recently owing to Ousmane Dembele’s injury, he has failed to make much of an impression. All this has led to strong speculations linking him with an exit from Camp Nou in the summer, with Chelsea and Manchester United emerging as potential suitors.
Chelsea would be viewing the 26-year-old as a potential replacement for superstar Eden Hazard, who is reportedly inching closer towards a summer switch to Real Madrid. Manchester United, on the other hand, are hoping to add more creativity to their forward play going into the next season and see the Brazilian as someone who could help them push for titles.
However, Coutinho has poured cold water on either team’s hopes of signing him, as he has claimed that he is not looking to leave Barcelona and is prepared to fight for his place at the Catalan club.
“This is my second season here. I have won titles but I am always an ambitious and demanding player. So, I want more and more. But I’m happy. I wanted to play in Spain and I’m at the best club in Spain,” he said.
Barcelona are set to play Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League this week at Old Trafford. And ahead of the game, Coutinho was asked if a return to England is on his mind, to which the Brazilian replied, “My head is exclusively in Barcelona. Returning to England now does not fit into my plans.”
Coutinho has had a rather underwhelming 2018-19 campaign. The 26-year-old has scored just five goals and set up only two more in 29 La Liga appearances. The playmaker, who is contracted with Barcelona till 2023, has cleared the air surrounding his future. He will now be hoping to end the season on a strong note and help the Catalans to multiple honours.