Tag Archives: coutinho

Coutinho set to be out on injury for weeks if not a month

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Barcelona have confirmed that Philippe Coutinho picked up a hamstring injury during the El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday.


The Catalans were beaten 3-1 by their arch rivals over the weekend but their misery has been compounded by the loss of one of their key attacking stars.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Barcelona did not confirm how long Coutinho will be out for as ‘it depends on how the injury evolves.

But according to Spanish news outlet AS, the Brazilian attacker is expected to be out for three weeks – which will rule him out for crucial LaLiga and Champions League matches.

Barcelona’s next game sees them travel to last season’s Serie A champions Juventus in Europe’s premier club competition, while Coutinho could also miss the league trip to Alaves next weekend as well as home ties with Dynamo Kiev and Real Betis.

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Catalans boss Ronald Koeman will be hoping the Brazilian star can recover in time for Barcelona’s trip to Atletico Madrid on November 22, which will be a pivotal match for the club’s title chances after a slow start to the campaign.

Coutinho’s injury means young wonderkid Ansu Fati can expect more game time for Barcelona, while Antoine Griezmann could also come in to replace the Brazilian.

Teenage midfielder Pedri started the El Clasico match-up on the opposite wing to Philippe Coutinho so could also be given more minutes while wide options Ousmane Dembele and Francisco Trincao are alternative wide options.

Coutinho played the full 90 minutes of the El Clasico contest at the Camp Nou, which saw Barcelona fall behind early on to Fede Valverde’s opener after five minutes.

The home side equalised just three minutes later through teenage sensation Fati and Coutinho nearly gave his side the lead in the second-half but missed a gilt-edged header from inside the penalty area.

Sergio Ramos won then scored a penalty go edge Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid side back in front before Luka Modric won the tie late on with a superb individual effort.

The result saw Madrid go to the top of the table on Saturday night, with Barcelona six points behind in 12th place after back-to-back league defeats.


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Coutinho returned from Bayern adding four Kilograms of muscle

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Tite has revealed the progress Philippe Coutinho made physically during his loan spell at Bayern Munich. The midfielder is notably bigger following his year in Germany, where he won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.


Coutinho has started the new season in fine form for Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman preferring to play him in a more central role. Before his loan to Bayern, the Brazilian struggled to adapt to life at the Camp Nou under Ernesto Valverde.

“There’s a factor you have to bear in mind; Coutinho is a player who is very dedicated to the physical aspect,” Tite explained recently.

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“This is even more so after his spell at Bayern Munich, where he gained five kilograms in body weight, four kilos of which were muscle mass. He’s improved a lot physically.”

During the October international break, Coutinho featured in both of Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

The former Liverpool player has also been included in Tite’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Venezuela and Uruguay in November.


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Coutinho sets to leave no stone unturned this season

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Philippe Coutinho wants to make the most of the chances he’s afforded at Barcelona.The Brazilian joined Barcelona for 120 million euros, plus a further 40 million euros in add-ons, in January 2018 but failed to establish himself at the Camp Nou, which led to him leaving the club in the summer of 2019 as he match the switch to Bayern Munich on a season-long loan.


In Germany, Coutinho was able to rediscover his confidence, even if he wasn’t a starter every week, as Bayern went on to win the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. Now, back in Catalonia, the playmaker has earned the trust of new coach Ronald Koeman and has started each of Barcelona’s first three league games.

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In fact, Coutinho has had such an influence in all three matches that he has contributed at least one goal per game, recording an assist against Villarreal and Celta Vigo, and then opening his account for the season in the 1-1 draw against Sevilla last Sunday.

“I returned to Spain with lots of hunger [to do well],” Coutinho said while on international duty in Brazil. “I want to take advantage of all the opportunities that I get at Barcelona and with the national team.” Coutinho scored during Brazil’s 5-0 win over Bolivia on Friday night as the Selecao started their World Cup qualifying campaign on the right foot.

On Tuesday night, Tite’s side will travel to Lima to take on Peru in their second qualifier for Qatar 2022. “It will definitely be a tough game, like all the qualifiers [in South America],” Coutinho added. Once the international break is over, the 28-year-old will return to Barcelona ahead of their match away to Getafe in LaLiga Santander before the Blaugrana take on Ferencvaros at home in their first Champions League game of the season.


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New Barca Born and A new Coutinho Unleashed

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Barcelona looked born again under Ronald Koeman on Thursday night and no one more so than Philippe Coutinho, who suddenly looks the player the club thought they had signed from Liverpool for £145million in January 2018.

In Barcelona’s new 4-2-3-1 system Coutinho is playing in the middle of the line of three behind the striker when the team attacks, and when they don’t have the ball he is charged with working to support the central midfield pair.

He is thriving with the attacking freedom and delivering on his defensive responsibilities too. It’s as if that first full season that ended in disappointment and a loan move to Bayern Munich never happened.

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Bigger tests will come. Barcelona’s next three games against Sevilla, Getafe and Real Madrid are likely to ask far more questions of them than first two opponents Villarreal and Celta Vigo have done, but Coutinho was man-of-the-match in the driving Galician rain and there are even signs he could full the void left in Lionel Messi’s life by the departure of Luis Suarez.

Messi needs a new best friend and while 17-year-old Ansu Fati is the player Barcelona’s No 10 had taken under his wing, Coutinho could become the new side-kick.

When Coutinho arrived at Barcelona, Suarez helped him settle into the same Costa Brava beach town with his wife Aine where Messi and Suarez had set-up home.

Suarez may have left for the capital but Coutinho and Messi remain neighbours and the close group that includes Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique has welcomed the Brazilian back from his loan spell in Bavaria.

On the pitch Coutinho has certainly stayed close to Messi. Koeman’s grand plan is that Barcelona’s front four rotate positions. When Messi drops off that allows Coutinho to run beyond him, just as when Messi drifts wide he can change positions with Fati or Antoine Griezmann.

Coutinho set-up Fati for Barcelona’s first goal on Thursday night and he hit the post in the second half with a shot that could have led to Barcelona’s third goal had the tightest of offside decisions not denied Messi.

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At the weekend it was his driving run, albeit completely unhindered by Villarreal’s generous midfield, that led to Fati’s second goal.

He will be back at the Nou Camp on Sunday for the visit of Sevilla. It was against Sevilla that Coutinho gave his greatest Barcelona performance to date. He was outstanding in the 2018 Copa del Rey final that Barca won 5-0. He set up the first goal for Suarez, and scored the fifth from the penalty spot.

That was Andres Iniesta’s last game for Barcelona and it felt like the passing of the baton with Coutinho now ready to replace the legend. In 13 seasons Iniesta had only scored 57 goals for Barcelona. In his first campaign Coutinho had managed 12 – so even if he fell short in other areas the potential was there for him to outdo the player he was replacing.

The following season with the No 7 on his back Coutinho lost his way but now with the old No 14 he wore in his first half-season he looks like he might really be able to offer Barcelona world-class midfield solutions.

Koeman certainly thinks so and if Thursday night’s performance was an indication of things to come Coutinho could be about to justify some of that massive fee and finally be a success at Barcelona.


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Coutinho has to repay Messi’s favour this season

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Philippe Coutinho’s time at Barcelona may finally have come, almost two years after he joined from Liverpool as the Catalan club’s most expensive ever player.

There are three reasons for the wind-change in his favour:

Watching him contribute to Bayern Munich’s Treble served as a reminder of what attracted Barcelona to him when they signed him for a deal totalling £145million in 2018.

His role in Bayern’s clean sweep probably shouldn’t be exaggerated. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: ‘With his creativity and excellent technical ability he has helped drive the team’s play in a year when we have won the Treble.’ But the German team had not seen enough to want to negotiate buying him permanently.

And it’s also true that his role in the Champions League success was as a substitute, enjoying, in particular, the disaster minutes against Barcelona when they just wanted the final whistle to be blown. But he still had to take advantage of the opportunity and he certainly did that with two goals against his parent club.

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And the lasting image is of him celebrating in Lisbon, smiling broadly on the tickertape-strewn pitch with his hands on the European Cup.

He walks back into the Barcelona dressing room a lot taller than if he had returned from Bayern without a medal.

Koeman has made all the right noises about his return. He wants to use him and with the squad chronically top-heavy (eight players for three attacking berths) he sees an opening in midfield.

Barcelona cannot make big signings this summer. Lost in the haze of them keeping Messi has been their dire financial predicament. Even Koeman’s fairly modest requests for Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay depend on players being shifted out for transfer fees first.

Part of Koeman’s remit is to do something about that embarrassing €400m (£367m) trio of Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

He needs to make them the success stories they were at Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid. He is determined to do that and, in particular with Coutinho and Griezmann, he believes changing their positions slightly will help him achieve it.

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Coutinho was sold to Barcelona as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta so this is not so much plan B as going back to plan A.

When Koeman plays a 4-3-3 he will employ a holding midfielder and a powerful runner who can drop in alongside the holder when Barcelona don’t have the ball, and then spring out when they do. And that leaves a third spot for a more creative spirit.

One obstacle to it being a success is the lack of warmth for Coutinho from the supporters – many of whom would rather see homegrown talent Riqui Puig get his break.

But the global pandemic has emptied stadiums across Europe and in Spain there are no suggestions that any spectators will be able to get back inside grounds at least before next February.

Coutinho probably still thinks from time to time about his brilliant goal against Manchester United in his second season when his top-corner curler ought to have won hearts and minds at the Nou Camp.

Instead of celebrating with joy he chose to use the moment to show his displeasure standing still in the middle of the pitch, closing his eyes and sticking his fingers in his ears.

‘Great goal, ugly celebration’ was the headline in Barcelona paper ‘Diario Sport’ the next day and they cited lip readers claiming he said: ‘Vai a tomar no cu’ as he put his fingers in his ears – a Portuguese phrase tantamount to ‘f*** you’.

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Not celebrating that goal with supporters no matter that there had been some whistles for him in previous games was a mistake. The empty arena might not be the worst of all worlds as the 28-year-old returns.

Lionel Messi stood up for Coutinho in one post-match interview when he had been jeered: ‘We have to be together. It is not the moment to criticise anybody,’ he said when asked about whistles for Coutinho.

He added: ‘It is ugly that they give a team-mate that sort of treatment.’

Messi is still at the club to welcome him back and will be out to form new understandings now that the telepathic one he had with Luis Suarez has gone.

Alongside Messi, in an empty Nou Camp, with Koeman committed to making him a Barcelona success, and with the Champions League winners medal safely in the trophy cabinet, Coutinho must sense that his moment to really arrive at Barcelona has finally come.


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Coutinho to play as Attacking Midfielder for Barcelona – Koeman


Barca manager Ronald Koeman now wants to keep the Brazilian, who helped Bayern Munich smash his parent club 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals before going on to lift the trophy with his adopted German side.

The Catalan giants will only consider selling Coutinho if a club offers a substantial fee to take the midfielder on permanently, according to Marca.

However, given the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona are unlikely to receive an offer which meets their demands.

Instead, Koeman plans to utilise the former Liverpool man as a central midfielder next season, rather than playing him as winger – which Ernesto Valverde had previously done.

Coutinho’s future had previously looked bleak at Barca, as Brazilian playmaker struggled to impress since making his move to Barcelona in 2018 after leaving Liverpool in a £145m deal.

Following a lacklustre debut season at the Nou Camp, Coutinho was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich.

Despite scoring for Bayern during their 8-2 thrashing of Barca – which led to Quique Setien being sacked – the German giants turned down the opportunity to sign Coutinho permanently for £108million.

That had left the door open for potential suitors to snap the 28-year-old up, but appointment of Koeman has now changed the Brazilian’s fate.

Coutinho had previously been linked with a move to the Premier League, but he is now back in Spain training with Barcelona ahead of next season.

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Shocking: Coutinho lands in Barcelona (Camp Nou)

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Philippe Coutinho returned to training with Barcelona on Friday.

The 28-year-old spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich, where he won the Champions League as part of the treble.

The German club, however, decided not to exercise their 120 million euro option to buy the Brazilian.

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So, Coutinho now has the difficult task of convincing new Blaugrana coach Ronald Koeman of his worth.

A number of English clubs have enquired about the talented midfielder – including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – and Coutinho is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League.

But his 15 million euro annual wage packet could prove a sticking point.

The most likely option would seem to be another loan deal, but until then he will continue under the supervision of his new Dutch boss.

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Dutch club Willem II ‘still waiting on millions from Barcelona’ for De Jong deal


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Arsenal still keeps Coutinho in sight

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Bayern Munich have confirmed Philippe Coutinho will return to parent club Barcelona, marking the occasion with a ‘thank you and goodbye’ message for the Brazilian.

Coutinho won the Champions League with Bayern during his loan spell, scoring in the quarter-final and replacing goalscorer Kingsley Coman in the final against Paris Saint-Germain.

The German champions had an option to make the move permanent but have opted not to exercise it, prompting links with Arsenal.

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As part of the club’s message to the outgoing player, Bayern board member Hasan Salihamidzic described Coutinho as “outstanding”.

He said: “Even though FC Bayern and Philippe Coutinho are parting ways after just one season, his commitment in Munich has made it clear what an outstanding player he is.”

While Coutinho has been linked with Arsenal for much of the summer, the arrival of Ronald Koeman as Barcelona’s new manager means the future of a number of Barca players may be affected.

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Farewell Coutinho; As he exits from Bayern

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Philippe Coutinho has shown his gratitude towards Bayern Munich as his season-long loan spell comes to an end.

The Barcelona player won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League during his year in Bavaria.

“I would like to thank all the fans, the staff and players for this season,” Coutinho wrote on Instagram.

“It was truly an amazing year where I learnt so much and the final achievements with the treble [were] unforgettable.”

Coutinho’s future at Barcelona is uncertain, with the club intending to sell or loan him out this summer.

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Coutinho receives call from Koeman to return Camp Nou

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Philippe Coutinho is set to make a shock return to the first-team picture at Barcelona following talks with new boss Ronald Koeman, according to reports in Spain.

The Brazil international’s season-long loan spell at Bayern Munich came to a glorious end on Sunday night as the Bundesliga champions won their sixth European cup with a 1-0 victory against PSG in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

However, the Germans insisted they would not attempt to purchase him and he appeared to be destined for a move to the Premier League this summer with Quique Setien at the helm at the Camp Nou.

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However, Dutchman Koeman has since replaced Setien and Mundo Deportivo claim that the former Netherlands and Everton boss called Coutinho on Monday morning to make it clear he is part of his plans for next season.

The report adds that after congratulating him on the Champions League final win, Koeman insisted that the former Liverpool star will see regular game time under him with the Catalan giants in 2020/21 and will have an important role to play.

The same outlet also reports that Koeman’s eagerness is being reciprocated by the 28-year-old Brazilian, whose contract at Barcelona runs until June 2023.

The report adds that Coutinho is willing to cut his holiday to Brazil to see members of his family short in order to return for the first day of training under Koeman, which is scheduled to start at the beginning of next week.

Coutinho is due an extended break having played as recently as Sunday, but is reportedly keen to return early to fight for a starting berth and become an important member of the team.

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The Brazilian is said to have a bitter taste in his mouth due to his exit from Barcelona last summer but now wants to make up for lost time.

Coutinho scored twice for Bayern after coming on as a substitute in the Champions League quarter-final demolition of his parent club earlier this month.

Arsenal and Tottenham had been linked with summer moves for him, but reports now suggest that Koeman is set to be given total control of decision-making next season and wants Coutinho as part of his squad.

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, the Dutchman is set to be given the freedom to sign the players he wants in order to begin the rebuild with the Catalan giants.

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Home sweet home: ‘i have to return to Camp nou’ – Coutinho

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One of the first problems in Ronald Koeman’s in-tray is just what to do with Philippe Coutinho, with the Brazilian midfielder due to return to the club after his loan spell with Bayern Munich.

In the aftermath of his Champions League success, the Brazilian confirmed that his future is up in the air once he returns.

“Of course, I have to go back to Barcelona and then we’ll see what happens,” Coutinho explained in an interview with Movistar+ after Sunday’s final.

“I haven’t really thought about it much, I’ve only been focused on the final.

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“What I can say is that I really want to work hard to have a great year, but let’s see what happens.”

Coutinho takes a Champions League winner’s medal back to the Camp Nou with him, which will somewhat make up for the pain felt by the fact Liverpool had won the trophy just after he left.

“We had a great season and we are very happy,” he added.

“We’ve deserved this and it’s a special feeling.

“I’m finding it hard to describe, I’m very happy and we are going to enjoy this a lot today.”

PSG missed their chances, whilst Bayern Munich were more reliable in possession, and Coutinho believes it was only small details which took his team to the trophy.

“Finals are always like this,” he said.

“They are defined by the smallest of details.

“We have controlled our emotions and now we are champions.”

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Müller, Coutinho and…. Leads UCL team of the week

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UEFA Champions League have revealed the team of the week as Lewandowski and Muller are both included, also Lyon striker Dembele has been named UCL TOTW with two goals in the Man City clash.

Full Lists of Team of the week
GK: Lopes (Lyon)

Defenders: Gosens (Atalanta), Marquinhos (PSG), Kimmich (Bayern)

Midfielders: Joao Felix (Atletico), Coutinho (Bayern), Aouar (Lyon), Gnabry (Bayern)

Forwards: Lewandowski (Bayern), Dembele (Lyon), Muller (Bayern).

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Coutinho adds salt to Barca’s wound

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As if it couldn’t get any worse for Barcelona...

Quique Setien’s side were already 5-2 down when Bayern Munich brought loanee Philippe Coutinho off the bench in the 75th minute.

The Brazilian, against the club he’d disappointed so much for, had a hand in three more goals, including two of his own, to humiliate his employers.

The former Liverpool forward set up Robert Lewandowski for Bayern’s sixth before grabbing two himself following slack defending in the box.

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Coutinho becomes Unwanted in Barcelona

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The beaming smile from Phillipe Coutinho during his unveiling at Barcelona faded quicker than expected. All the glitz and the glamour that greeted the tricky playmaker’s arrival has since failed to mask the sheer disappointment from both parties.

The LaLiga giants splashed out a fee of £145million to sign him from Liverpool, a deal which smashed their club record. Coutinho was plunged into a world of uncertainty and a seemingly bleak future after struggling to settle. Neither side can claim the switch has worked out for them.

With Barcelona openly voicing their desire to cut their losses and ship out Coutinho this summer, it appeared Arsenal would be the club brave enough to take the plunge and broker a deal. Unfortunately for the former Inter Milan talent, the North London outfit have since walked away after choosing instead to focus on signing Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer.

The exact reasons behind Coutinho’s dramatic fall from grace are many. His Barcelona medical diagnosed a thigh injury, which he had picked up before jetting out to Spain, and the star was ruled out for three weeks straight from the start. It was a worrying portent of what was to come.

‘I am very happy, it’s a dream come true and I hope to be up to the job on the field,’ Coutinho told Barcelona fans after putting pen to paper, with that cheeky grin of his still in place. Unfortunately for him, his dream soon soured into the very worst of nightmares.

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He had even reportedly committed £11.5m of his own money to help force through the deal. Those at Liverpool were perhaps quietly glad to see the back of him after all his efforts to leave.

The Anfield giants had rejected three offers from Barcelona and even turned down a transfer request from the player himself. The final bid from the Blaugrana’s hierarchy was £118m – a total package which included add-ons equating to over £30m.

But they were met by a steadfast Liverpool, who were unwilling to lower their valuation or expectations during negotiations. Barcelona promptly fired back by insisting that they would not be drawn into a bidding war.

The rest is now history, of course. The impasse was broken and Coutinho eventually found himself embarking on his ‘dream’ move.

His highly-anticipated debut arrived in late January 2018 against former employers Espanyol in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Teed up by ex-Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez, Coutinho netted his maiden goal on February 8 of the same year against Valencia in the next stage of the competition.

Any initial promise soon faded out, however. He made 22 appearances during the second half of the campaign, scoring 10 goals in total.

But the superstar still felt like a jarring and ineffective cog in the Barcelona winning machine. Coutinho appeared out of place, often drifting aimlessly across the field and failing to spark a real connection with his fellow attackers.

Admittedly, struggling to adapt at a new club isn’t a serious issue to begin with. But at Barcelona, it may be the end of the world. The expectations are sky high and the pressure is unforgiving.

Coutinho was also cup tied for the 2017-18 Champions League campaign. He therefore could only watch on from the sidelines in horror as Barcelona crashed out of the competition in the most explosive of circumstances against Roma.

His second season at the club, and his first full one, proved just as ill-fated. Just 11 more goals followed in all competitions, which saw him shipped out to Bayern Munich on loan just a year and a half into his lucrative Barcelona deal.

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In terms of a trophy haul, it would not be fair to label Coutinho’s time in Catalonia as unsuccessful. With him, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and two league titles.

It may have been this respectable haul, and his occasional flashes of brilliance, which convinced Bayern Munich to bring him in on a short-term deal. The Bundesliga champions were open to paying his full £11m-a-year wage package, and also splashed out £8m on an initial loan fee.

But a change in the dugout in Bavaria once again put a swift end to Coutinho’s hopes of long-term success. Niko Kovac was dismissed and replaced by Hansi Flick, who preferred a different system and wasn’t afraid to bench the Brazilian for the good of the team.

When he was handed a chance to shine, Coutinho was often fielded on the left or right of a three-man strike force. His preferred position, and undoubtedly the one in which he has shown the most quality, remains the playmaker position.

‘I hope the dam breaks and he shows the quality he’s got,’ Flick admitted despite the signs appearing far from promising.

Bayern have extended Coutinho’s loan stint until the end of this elongated season, but they will not be taking up the option to make the deal permanent. The clause, had it been triggered, would have cost £109m.

Coutinho netted eight goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances this campaign but has once again failed to make enough of an impact. Despite his travails, his agent Kia Joorabchian has spoken about his client’s desire to have another shot at the Premier League.

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It would be a surprising twist in the tale should Coutinho seal a return to England, but there are reportedly several teams interested this summer. Until recently, Arsenal had fronted the queue but appear to have now pulled out due to the imminent arrival of Willian.

That leaves the door open to a high-profile deal for several of the North London club’s top flight rivals. Tottenham, their arch nemesis, may attempt an ambitious coup. Jose Mourinho’s charges have undoubtedly endured a tough campaign, but they will now be able to offer Coutinho a form of European football.

There is no doubting the creative spark provided from Coutinho would be able to help Tottenham kick on under the Portuguese tactician, and talisman Harry Kane would also benefit. The move may even convince the England captain, who has hinted he may leave, to stay put.

Any form of move for Coutinho would be surprising, particularly in this summer of uncertainty, but it would underline Spurs’ ambitions to reach the next level once again for the next campaign.

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Leicester may also harbour ambitions of swooping. The Foxes fell painfully short of clinching a spot in the Champions League after a final day defeat to fellow contenders Manchester United, but the club have a proven track record of enticing talent players to the East Midlands.

Brendan Rodgers has pieced together a vibrant and attacking team, and Coutinho would fit right in provided he was afforded his favoured central role. The stumbling block would be concerned with the dynamics of the deal, with Leicester certainly unwilling to match Barcelona’s valuation of the player. An audacious loan move cannot be ruled out, however.

Perhaps the most suited match of them all is Chelsea, but this move now appears the least likely. Coutinho appeared destined to join the club at one stage, but the move never materialised and Frank Lampard has set his sights on other targets.

His pursuit of Kai Havertz has been well documented, and the additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have further bolstered a frontline flowing with ability and creativity.

Unfortunately for Coutinho, there are no obvious escape routes that have presented himself. This summer is pivotal for him, and heading back to Barcelona to spend more time on the sidelines may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for a career that promised so much all those years ago.

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Arsenal makes brilliant progress on Coutinho’s deal

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Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of landing Philippe Coutinho on loan, with talks believed to be at an advanced stage.

Barcelona are desperate to offload Coutinho, who has struggled at the Nou Camp ever since arriving from Liverpool for £145millionin January 2018.

The Brazilian playmaker spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich but didn’t impress enough to earn a permanent move to the Bundesliga giants.

Coutinho, however, isn’t short of admirers and Arsenal have declared their interest in bringing the former Anfield hero back to the Premier League.

And according to Sport, his loan move is on the brink of being completed.

Indeed, the Spanish publication also claims that the Gunners ‘love’ the midfielder.

Arsenal’s relationship with Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, has helped progress talks, with his client list including current Arsenal stars David Luiz and Cedric Soares.

Another of Joorabchian’s clients is Willian, who is believed to be close to signing for Arsenal.

“It’s no secret he wants to come back to the Premier League,” Joorabchian said at the end of July.

“It’s still very much open. There is a lot of genuine interest.

“He loves playing in the Premier League, he is adored playing in the Premier League and that is one of his priorities.”

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Coutinho is one of several out-of-favour Barcelona players up for sale, with Martin Braithwaite and Jean-Clair Todibo also available.

Braithwaite is attracting interest from West Ham, with the Spaniards wanting to recoup the €18m they paid to sign the forward.

Todibo is also being linked with the Premier League, but Everton face competition from Italian giants Roma.

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Arsenal transfer roundups: problem with Coutinho transfer

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On Saturday, Arsenal will close out their 2019/20 season almost a year after it started.

After enduring their worst Premier League finish in 25 years and with the chance of no European football for the first time since Arsene Wenger arrived in north London, it has been a torrid year for the club.

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Nevertheless, after moving on from Unai Emery and bringing in Mikel Arteta midway through the campaign, the Gunners hope that their former captain can now conduct a successful rebuild from the dugout.

Such hope is predicated on their ability to add talent to a weak squad. And there are a number of swirling rumours of potential departures and arrivals as a crucial FA Cup final against Chelsea looms.

Here is the Arsenal transfer round-up.

Aubameyang future depends on FA Cup final
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future might be dependent on the result of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Having finished eighth in the Premier League, Arsenal must win the FA Cup final to secure a Europa League place for next season.

The Gunners’ budget depends greatly on having European football. With their finances already stretched, missing out would be catastrophic to the team’s capabilities in the transfer market – including the prospect of signing their top goalscorer to a new deal.

Mikel Arteta has made his feelings clear on the matter. He wants to keep Aubameyang. But winning the FA Cup final and securing European football may be necessary to doing that.

From both sides, European football is needed. Aubameyang wants to compete in Europe and may look to leave the club without it, while Arsenal need the added revenue the Europa League provides to be able to afford their club captain. Saturday’s FA Cup final, then, is crucial.

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Gunners face competition from United for Magalhaes

Gabriel Magalhaes has attracted interest from five different clubs, including Arsenal and two Premier League sides.

Those Premier League sides includes:Manchester United, who are keen to add elite quality at the position to partner £80million man Harry Maguire, and Everton, who were very close to signing Gabriel in a £20m deal earlier this year, with the Brazilian even having visited their training ground before lockdown.

Arsenal are also eager to sign a centre-back. William Saliba will arrive after his year-long loan at Saint-Etienne, but the Gunners are on the lookout for a long-term partner for the Frenchman to solve their defensive issues.

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Gabriel has performed well for Lille this season, but to sign the 22-year-old, Arsenal will first will have to offload several of their ageing, under-performing defenders, including Sokratis.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain and Italian side Napoli also monitoring Gabriel’s situation closely.

The Coutinho problem


On Wednesday, as reported by a source known to NobleSports, the sources journalist reported that Arsenal are ‘best placed’ this summer to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.

First, NobleSports reported that Coutinho is Arsenal’s ‘dream’ signing, before Mundo Deportivo added that while the Gunners are the frontrunners, the price is a major problem.

Barcelona want to recoup as much of their initial investment in Coutinho as possible and ‘only want money’ this summer. They are reportedly looking for as much as €80m.

Such a price will be difficult for Arsenal to meet, who are more likely to sign Coutinho on a loan agreement or swap deal.

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#NobleSports