The Spanish champions are not having any of the transfer gossip surrounding one of their star names, and are not going to let him go anywhere, according to a pundit
Barcelona have also apparently missed the media so as to keep Philippe Coutinho’s value high, if they do decide to renege and decide to sell him in the future. That is as per Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who strongly believes that the Catalan club do not want to offload the Brazilian.
La Blaugrana brought in Coutinho the Brazilian for £142m last January, but he hasn’t been able to even remotely match the lofty standards expected off him, and recent rumours had begun circulating that Manchester United were more and more likely Coutinho’s next destination. But Balague has quashed ideas of the Brazilian ending up anywhere else except the Nou Camp come next season.
He said: “Barcelona don’t want to sell. This story has come from nowhere. There is no intention to sell Coutinho, who has to improve certainly, we haven’t seen his best version. Barcelona don’t want to sell, but I don’t think it’s (the speculation) just the media. Behind the scenes I think there’s a real push (from Barcelona) to keep him attractive to the Premier League in case they decide to sell.
“There’s been meetings with the representatives and Barcelona have come to the conclusion that moving forward he’s very important to the side. Now have Barcelona said that because it’s an important part of the season and they want to see the best possible Coutinho? I don’t know. Because what we are hearing is that the club are saying he is not for sale.”
The 26-year-old has actually appeared quite a few times for Ernesto Valverde’s side this term, notching more than 40 appearances so for — though he is yet to convince the fans and pundits in Catalunya. Coutinho has been even jeered by the Nou Camp audience at times this year for what they have viewed as below par performances.
The club, though, remain steadfast on their commitment to the former Liverpool man, with president Josep Bartomeu admitting they have begun planning for life after Lionel Messi. To this effect, Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele were signed last year following Neymar’s departure, while Ajax superstar Frankie De Jong will head to Spain come next season.
Barcelona are totally right in deciding in keeping Coutinho, for he is much too good to not be persisted with. He is a player of unique skills and ability, and perhaps some confidence and a good run of games is all he will need to unlock that same potential that made the Catalans pay such a humongous amount to acquire his services. With the La Liga race almost stitched up, perhaps a run of games with no expectations once the title is done and dusted is what he will need to build up confidence and come back a reborn player next season.