Barcelona make Coutinho decision as Chelsea join Man Utd in hunt

Ernesto Valverde has decided Barcelona will keep Philippe Coutinho at all costs this summer, amid reports the Brazilian will be allowed to return to the Premier League.

Coutinho is only a year into his contract at the Camp Nou following his £142million move from Liverpool last January, but there are already rumours he could be heading back to England with Manchester United.

Liverpool have also been mentioned as suitors to re-sign their former star, amid claims that Barca will look to sell the Brazilian back to the Reds for a fee of €100m (£88m).

Spanish outlet Don Balon on Wednesday also claimed Coutinho has been the subject of a €100m offer from Chelsea this month as they look to replace Eden Hazard, who is being tipped to sign for Real Madrid this summer.

Meanwhile, a mischievous report in Marca on Tuesday suggested a firm way in which United could poach the player from Barca’s grasp.


However, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims that Barca boss Valderde wants to persist with Coutinho and the club will fight the urge to cut their losses – even if offered the chance to cut their losses on the Brazilian playmaker.

Meanwhile, La Liga expert Guillem Balague has claimed Barca have no intention of selling Coutinho and that the transfer speculation is being whipped up by the player’s representatives.

“We expected much more, the fans did, Barcelona did,” he said on the Guillem Balague Transfer Show.

“Right now he seems like a very shy player who is not making a big enough impact into games.

“Even though he’s given the opportunity to grow and I’m sure at some point he will certainly improve.

“But linked to that and the fact that he’s not starting the big games and not starting every game, there are stories that come out in the English press, not the Spanish press, saying Manchester United one day and Chelsea the next.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona - Barcelona make Coutinho decision as Chelsea join Man Utd in hunt

“It would be easy to guess where those stories come from.

“Perhaps from the same people that actually went to Barcelona and said ‘what’s happening here?’

“Those are the representatives of Coutinho trying to put pressure to Barcelona.

“Barcelona have got no intention to get rid of Coutinho.

Philippe.Coutinho 11 - Barcelona make Coutinho decision as Chelsea join Man Utd in hunt

“We will see if this lack of impact continues down the line but right now Coutinho’s important to Barcelona, very important.

“Because they feel that he adds quality even though they realise that he’s not the midfielder that they thought they were getting.

“I always said he’s a forward and as such it’s where he’s going to play for Barcelona.

“But do not believe right now the stories that put him out of Barcelona.”


Klopp discusses Coutinho future

Klopp Coutinho - Barcelona make Coutinho decision as Chelsea join Man Utd in hunt

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also had his say on Coutinho at the weekend, but was also convinced the star’s future very much remains with Barca.

“That is something I don’t want to talk about. I would not say it is a potential transfer or a likely one,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.

“Nothing to say. Whatever I say would open more stories and there is no story.

“Phil is at Barcelona and as I know he fits really well and everything is fine.”


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