Barcelona decide Coutinho future amid Chelsea rumours

Date published: Wednesday 23rd January 2019 10:07

Ernesto Valverde has no intention of letting Philippe Coutinho leave Barcelona, according to reports.

Coutinho has only started 11 of Barcelona‘s 20 La Liga matches this season and there have been rumours over the last couple of months that he could be on his way out of the Camp Nou.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the Brazil international, however the latest speculation over the weekend claimed that Chelsea could look to bring him to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

The Blues reportedly want him as Eden Hazard’s long-term replacement if he moves to Real Madrid with the Spanish side’s president Florentino Perez thought to be interested.

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.

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.

“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.

“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.”

 

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