The agent of Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho has this evening moved to reject the suggestion that his client could make a move back to the Premier League this summer.
Brazilian attacker Coutinho made the move to Barcelona in January of last year, on the back of a stellar couple of seasons with Liverpool.
However, despite his hefty price-tag, the 27-year-old has since largely-struggled to live up to expectations in Catalunya.
Though his start to Blaugrana life over the second-half of the 2017/18 campaign proved at least somewhat encouraging, last season was a different story altogether.
Coutinho generally looked a shadow of his once-brilliant self, with a perpetual lack of confidence having seen the Brazilian continuously fade into the background, as Lionel Messi carried Barca’s creative burden on his back.
All told, Coutinho managed just 5 goals and 2 assists across 34 La Liga appearances.
The Camp Nou faithful, meanwhile, did not exactly help the situation, with many fans having turned on the former Inter Milan man as the season wore on.
As such, speculation has already run rampant regarding Coutinho’s future with Barcelona, amid suggestions that the La Liga champions’ hierarchy could look to cut their losses on the South American this summer.
A potential swap deal involving fellow countryman Neymar has even been floated by some outlets:
| 😬 |
“Pep Segura (Barca GM) told me they don’t want to sell Coutinho. However, Barcelona’s adviser in Brazil… has been pushing for Coutinho to be included in a deal to bring Neymar back from PSG.” – Joorabchian (RMC)#FCB‘s most expensive signing || https://t.co/B9IVwSYVLg pic.twitter.com/vBScteLAYW
— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) July 14, 2019
‘Difficult for him to go to a rival’
Another rumoured destination for Coutinho, meanwhile, has been the Premier League.
The attacker’s agent, though, has this evening moved to shoot down such suggestions.
When questioned on the specific possibility of his client joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United during an interview with TalkSPORT (via Mundo Deportivo), Kia Joorabchian revealed that Coutinho’s Liverpool past would make a move to any rival Premier League club ‘extremely difficult’:
‘Manchester United is a great club. I have players there and I have all the respect, but in regards to Philippe, it would be extremely difficult, an almost impossible move.’
‘It would be very difficult for Philippe to play for any of Liverpool’s rivals, because he has a great affinity with Liverpool. His time there was fantastic. It would be difficult for him to go to a rival. Every time we talked about that we had the same conversation. It would be difficult for him to play for another club in the Premier League.’