Barcelona have reportedly ruled out possibly selling Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho this summer.
According to a report by Spanish publication MARCA, Barcelona are no longer entertaining the idea of parting ways with Philippe Coutinho in this summer’s transfer window. The Brazilian international had been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League before the British deadline last week.
Coutinho is coming off his first full season with Barcelona, which was nothing short of a nightmare, with the player struggling to make an impact for much of the campaign. The 27-year-old started just 22 La Liga games and in 54 appearances across all competitions, he had a paltry return of 11 goals and 5 assists.
Coutinho did exorcise some of his demons at the Copa America this summer, where he was instrumental in Brazil’s triumphant campaign. But, despite his exploits for the Selecao, his future at Camp Nou, with reports suggesting that Barcelona wanted to offload him any which way, even if it meant he was sent out on loan.
The reasoning for the same was the Blaugrana’s pursuit of former star Neymar. While Barcelona vice president Jordi Cardoner recently ruled out a move for the Brazilian international, recent developments claim that the La Liga champions are back in the hunt for him.
As a result, Barcelona need to offload an attacker, so as to create space for Neymar while also partly funding the move for him. As a result, Coutinho was reportedly identified as an expendable quantity, with a return to the Premier League emerging as a possibility.
But, while Tottenham were heavily linked with a late move for Coutinho, the 27-year-old was in no mood to join the North London club. With the British transfer window now shut, Barcelona are in a bit of a predicament, with the option of shipping him off to PSG also disappearing.
As a result, Barcelona have now decided to keep hold of Coutinho, with Ernesto Valverde admittedly ready to put his faith in the Brazilian international. Speaking on the future of Coutinho, he had recently said, “Of course I am counting on him. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but he’s with us.”
“He didn’t play today because, like Arthur [Melo] and [Arturo] Vidal, they’ve only had two training sessions. The plan is the same: to bring them in little by little [after the Copa America]. We will see if on Saturday he can play some minutes. The idea is the same with him as everyone else. We count on him, of course.”
A move for Neymar now looks difficult for Barcelona, meaning Coutinho will have a big role to play in the upcoming season, despite the arrival of Antoine Griezmann beefing up Valverde’s attacking options. It now remains to be seen if he can resurrect his stuttering career at Camp Nou, with the La Liga champions set to keep hold of him.