manager Ernesto Valverde has indicated that Philippe Coutinho could remain at
the Camp Nou beyond the La Liga transfer deadline. The midfielder was recently
touted to make a return to the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, but it
appears that he turned down the approach to stay put with the Catalans giants.
reporters, Valverde said that Coutinho remains an influential player within the
club’s ranks and he was absent during the friendly because of the short
turnaround following his vacation. The Spanish tactician added that he cannot
predict the future of the Brazil international, but he is optimistic that the
27-year-old will continue to ply his trade with the Blaugrana next term.
The father of Neymar has stressed that he
has no plans to negotiate with Barcelona regarding the attacker’s return to the
Camp Nou. The 27-year-old made the world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain
from the Blaugrana nearly two years ago, but the move has not quite worked out
for the Brazilian, who has been deemed to be unsettled in the French capital.
As such, there has been regular speculation
over the past few months linking the Brazilian with a return to the Camp Nou
but his father has insisted that does not remain the case at the present
moment, he said: “I’m not going to Barcelona to negotiate. I am in Brazil and I
will stay here until we return to Paris with my son.”
Neymar was due to participate for Brazil at
the Copa America but the same could not happen after he sustained an injury
during the lead-up to the tournament. Nonetheless, he has been hanging around
the team providing moral support and it remains to be seen whether the host
nation manage to secure the continental title this time around.
Meanwhile, the speculation linking Neymar with the Blaugrana has only intensified over the past few days despite there being no discussion between the clubs. According to AS, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is understood to have given the green light to pursue both Antoine Griezmann and Neymar to strengthen the attack, although that could witness few departures from the club.
The club have already sanctioned the permanent sale of Denis Suarez but there could be further exits to balance the books. Among the high-profile players, Philippe Coutinho has been touted to head through the exit door with former club Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain identified as potential destinations. Coutinho managed just five league goals during the previous campaign for the Spanish champions.