Bartomeu: Coutinho will only leave for £355m release clause

Date published: Tuesday 16th April 2019 2:22

Philippe Coutinho Lionel Messi Barcelona

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is adamant that Philippe Coutinho will not be leaving the Nou Camp this summer despite rumoured interest from Manchester United and Chelsea.

Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool for £142million in January last year but the 26-year-old has not had the same kind of impact as he had during his time with the Reds, resulting in speculation of a move away.

Bartomeu, however, has made it clear Coutinho is part of manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans – unless a club triggers the midfielder’s release clause, rumoured to be a staggering £355million.

Speaking to Spanish television station TVE, Bartomeu said: “Coutinho is an excellent player and he has the coach’s confidence.

“He has a contract with us and he will remain at the team, unless they (another club) meet his release clause.”

Bartomeu has also rejected suggestions his club will move to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp less than two years after he joined Paris St Germain for a world record fee of £200million.

Barca used the money to purchase Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, with Bartomeu hailing the striker.

Bartomeu added: “It’s not possible for Neymar to come to Barcelona as we have another sporting project with Dembele and Coutinho. We are happy with what we have.

“Dembele is a good professional player. He is a young guy who arrived at a huge club and that’s not easy, but he has adapted and he is much better than Neymar.”

 

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