Barcelona boss Valverde expect...

Soccer

Barcelona boss Valverde expects Coutinho to stay

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

12:47 8 Aug 2019


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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde believes Phillipe Coutinho will stay with the Catalan club, following reports he was due to move back to the Premier League on loan.

He had been linked to join one of two north-London clubs, with both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur believed to be chasing the Brazilian's signature.

Speaking following a pre-season game against Napoli, Valverde said, "we do not know what will happen, but Philippe is a player who is with us. He has not played but the plan we have with him is the same. We'll see if he plays a few minutes on Saturday.

"But he is a player who is with us and we have him, of course. He is with us and we think he will continue with us. In all these transfer windows there is talk of many things."

Spurs had been linked with the winger before he distanced himself from the club with reports suggesting both the player and Barcelona would prefer a permanent deal to go through, but no team will match the €86 million (£80 million) price tag.

Sky Sports reported earlier this week that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had called the Brazilian to try and convince him to join the London club. The former Liverpool player had played under Pochettino during a loan spell with Spanish club Espanyol in 2012, making 16 appearances and scoring five goals.

Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January of 2018 for an initial fee of around €113 million (£105 million), which could rise to about €153 million (£142 million) depending on certain bonuses. His contract runs until June of 2023, but the 27-year old has been increasingly unsettled at the Camp Nou in recent months.

During his time at the Nou Camp, Coutinho has made 75 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, scoring 21 goals. In the year-and-a-half since making the move from Spain, he has won two La Liga titles.

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