Barcelona have decided against selling Philippe Coutinho to Manchester United despite the rumours.
Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona during the 2017 winter transfer window after a five-year stay at Liverpool. The Brazilian was gleaming during the second part of last season, but he has struggled to force himself into Ernesto Valverde’s plan this campaign. The difference is easy to point out; he was contributing much more to the final third en route to their La Liga triumph last summer, but it has not been the case after being forced to warm the bench.
The domination of Ousmane Dembele in the wings, and Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo in the midfield means that the 26-year-old should some flexibility to reinstate himself in the starting eleven. Furthermore, the Blaugrana struck a 90 million deal with Ajax to sign their star Frenkie De Jong in the summer transfer window. Despite splashing huge lump of an amount, Ernesto Valverde is keen on the young starlet Matthijs De Ligt who is strongly linked with the club.
If they do sign the Dutch defender in the forthcoming months, Financial Fair Play (FFP) will come into play. That regulation will force the club to ship off some of their stars in the transfer window. With some many midfielders at stake, various reports have quoted that the board has promised Frenkie De Jong to sell their Croatian star Ivan Rakitic.
Since Ajax have set a 70 million asking price for Matthijs De Ligt, they will be forced to recoup some amount by selling their stars including Ivan Rakitic. Coutinho, who has struggled to show his prowess at Nou Camp has been tipped to head the exit door by many media outlets along with the midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
The club signed him in a fee for 142 million euros, but he has failed to live up to his hype with the reigning Spanish Champions. He has often been linked with Manchester United since his former side Liverpool do not have an interest in taking him back. Reports said that the Blaugrana were ready to listen to offers around 80 million euros.
Albeit all these claims, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has confirmed that Philippe Coutinho will be staying put at Barcelona because the club is only worried about his form, but not the quality he possesses.
“Barcelona don’t want to sell. This story has come from nowhere. There is no intention to sell Coutinho. Coutinho 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.” said Balague.
Ernesto Valverde’s system does not suit Philippe Coutinho, but he is expected to show his versatility and step up the gear. If he does not show enough conviction in the manager’s tactics, the Blaugrana will think twice about selling him in the future.
Here’s how Twitter reacted..
Philippe Coutinho has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League in recent months.
Guillem Balague isn’t convinced he will be up for sale…https://t.co/rEiCPGwFem
— Football365 (@F365) March 27, 2019
Trending: Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool? Guillem Balague delivers transfer update with Man Utd keen https://t.co/XYPQvqzhQO
— Man United News Now ⚽️ (@MUnitedNewsNow) March 26, 2019
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 26, 2019
If Barça decide to bet on Rashford, Coutinho and Malcom are cards Barça can use during negotiations to get the deal done. The English club are very interested in Coutinho. [md] pic.twitter.com/itmW4jAhWg
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 27, 2019
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 26, 2019
In their hunt for the top four finish, Manchester United will face Watford in the Premier League on Saturday and that clash will be followed by an away trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers three days later.