Report: Barcelona Open to Philippe Coutinho £90M Sale Amid Man United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 13: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at Nou Camp on March 13, 2019 in Barcelona, . (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona would reportedly be open to selling midfielder Philippe Coutinho if they were to receive an offer of £90 million this summer.

According to Moises Llorens of ESPN FC, while the player wants to remain at the Camp Nou, Barcelona are considering Coutinho's future.

"Barcelona do not have a firm offer from any club at this point, but some have expressed an interest in the player," said a source quoted in Llorens' report. "Key people, who are either directly or indirectly linked with various clubs have been following the situation closely."

As Llorens noted, following an inconsistent spell at Barcelona since joining in January 2018, there has been speculation about Coutinho moving on; both Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with a move for the former Liverpool man.

According to Jon Richardson of the Sunday Mirror, the playmaker has already spoken to United stars about a possible transfer.

Lluis Miguelsanz and Joaquim Piera of Sport said the upcoming month will be crucial in determining whether Coutinho has a long-term future at the Camp Nou. Barcelona will play United in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in April.

Coutinho has been rotated in and out of the Barcelona XI this season, and he was on the bench when the team took on Real Betis on Sunday.

The Spanish press was critical of his display in his previous La Liga start against Rayo Vallecano:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Sport not impressed with Coutinho yesterday https://t.co/nez9WCxsnz

Having become Barcelona's record signing at the start of 2018, expectations were high when Coutinho arrived in Catalonia.

During his time at Liverpool in the Premier League, he had developed a reputation as one of European football's most effective attacking midfielders. At his best, Coutinho is able to dribble past opposition players with ease and find incisive passes into tight areas.

He also had a penchant for producing spectacular efforts at goal from distance:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Only Philippe Coutinho (18) has scored more goals from outside the box in the Premier League than Christian Eriksen (17) since his debut in September 2013. Live: https://t.co/XQojLtUixX #EVETOT https://t.co/O0KqIGRhqt

At the moment, it doesn't appear as if Coutinho is a natural fit for the style played by manager Ernesto Valverde, with the searing speed and trickery of Ousmane Dembele often preferred to partner Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in attack.

Bleacher Report's Dean Jones thinks Barca will seek to move Coutinho on in the summer and doesn't think his former club would be interested:

Dean Jones @DeanJonesBR

Sounds like Barca would drive Coutinho to a new club if it meant they could get their money back. Don't really think he would still fit in at Liverpool, though. They've moved on, right?

Given the remarkable amount Barcelona paid to get Coutinho from Liverpool, it would be a surprise if they were willing to cut their losses so soon. If he can settle and improve in the final weeks of the campaign, he would be a major asset for the Blaugrana.

The player seems desperate to make a success of his spell with the La Liga giants and definitely has to do more to earn the trust of his manager and the club's supporters. With Barcelona going for the La Liga title, the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey, opportunities should be plentiful.  


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