Liverpool boost: New Barcelona boss Koeman’s plans for Philippe Coutinho confirmed

The agent of Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho has this evening confirmed that Ronald Koeman is intent on keeping hold of his client for the season ahead.

Coutinho’s struggles

Brazilian international Coutinho departed Liverpool for Spanish giants Barca in January of 2018.

The Blaugrana splashed out a reported £142 million on the attack-minded midfielder’s signature, in what, at the time, was viewed as a major coup.

As has been widely-documented, however, Barcelona have not exactly reaped the rewards of their massive outlay over the years since.

Coutinho largely struggled to replicate his previous brilliance during his time in Catalunya, looking uncharacteristically bereft of confidence when donning the colours of the La Liga champions.

This eventually resulted in those in charge at the Camp Nou coming to the decision to cut their losses last summer, when the 28-year-old made the move to German powerhouse Bayern Munich on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.

‘Very much in his plans’

Coutinho’s time in Bavaria, however, for the most part, also proved largely underwhelming.

In fact, the former Inter Milan starlet managed starts in just 15 of Bayern’s 34 league outings this past season (though he did of course clinch a Champions League winner’s medal).

It therefore came as little surprise when the Bundesliga giants opted against making his arrival permanent this summer.

Philippe Coutinho

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – SEPREMBER 14: Philippe Coutinho of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on September 14, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

As such, Coutinho’s future, for some time now, had remained completely up in the air.

Such uncertainty, in turn, resulted in widespread speculation that a Premier League return may have even been on the cards for the Brazilian.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester City and, most prominently, Arsenal were all named as potential destinations for Coutinho over recent months.

While his next landing spot remained a mystery, though, one thing which appeared absolutely certain was that the midfielder had no future at Barcelona.

This, however, was until Ronald Koeman was named as the new Blaugrana boss last month.

On the back of the club’s humiliating Champions League exit (at the hands of Coutinho’s Bayern), the board at the Camp Nou opted to replace Quique Setien with Dutch national team manager Koeman.

This move on the part of the Catalans had since seen murmurs spread in the media that Coutinho could yet carve out a 2nd chance for himself in La Liga, with the new Barca boss a firm believer in the talents of the South American.

As such, speaking in an interview with talkSPORT earlier today, Coutinho’s representative, Kia Joorabchian, was inevitably drawn on such claims.

And the super agent went on to confirm that his client is indeed set to stay put at the Camp Nou in 2020/21:

‘Yeah,’ Joorabchian replied when asked directly whether he expects Coutinho to remain a Barcelona player.

‘Koeman called him right after the Champions League victory with Bayern, the following day, and told him he’s very much in his plans and would like him to return.’

‘He was due to return on September 7 but actually he returned at the beginning of September because he didn’t want to lose his momentum and fitness, and he’s been training with Barcelona.’

‘All signs point to the fact Barcelona have changed quite dramatically, the way their philosophy of how they wanted to move forward from last year and the players they’ve brought in, like Coutinho, [Ousmane] Dembele and [Antoine] Griezmann they’re all going to be part of the squad this year.’

Liverpool boost

The latest word on Coutinho’s future, meanwhile, is also significant for the 28-year-old’s former employers, Liverpool.

As confirmed by the reliable Liverpool Echo, the Reds look set for an imminent financial windfall on the back of their one-time midfield creator’s stint in Catalunya being extended.

As per the terms of the deal which sent Coutinho to Barca two years ago, the Premier League champions will be owed a further £4.4 million, if he takes to the pitch just 15 times over the course of the season ahead:

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The agent of Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho has this evening confirmed that Ronald Koeman is intent on keeping hold of his client for the season ahead. Coutinho’s struggles Brazilian international Coutinho departed Liverpool for Spanish giants Barca in January of 2018. The Blaugrana splashed out a reported £142 million on the attack-minded midfielder’s signature, inFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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