Chelsea target Coutinho could be handed surprise return by Barcelona
Philippe Coutinho could be handed surprise return by Barcelona as boss Quique Setien talks up first-team chances for the Chelsea target
- Philippe Coutinho has spent this season on loan at Bayern Munich
- Playmaker has flopped at Barcelona since £145m move from Liverpool in 2018
- But new Barca boss Quitque Setien has opened door for potential return
- However Chelsea have been showing interest in ending his Nou Camp nightmare
Barcelona are considering offering Philippe Coutinho a chance to salvage his career at the Nou Camp next term, with current manager Quique Setien labelling him a ‘great player.’
The playmaker arrived with much promise after a £145million switch from Liverpool in January 2018 but has since failed to make an impact.
In fact so weak has his influence been at Barcelona he has been shifted out on loan for the season to Bayern Munich.
Philippe Coutinho could return to the Barcelona first team next term having flopped at the Nou Camp since his £145m January transfer from Liverpool
The German champions have an option to sign the Brazilian in the summer but he has also emerged as a target for Chelsea.
However, Setien, who only replaced Ernesto Valverde as manager at the Nou Camp in January appears to rate the 27-year-old and could welcome him back into the Barca fold next term.
‘Coutinho? I like him very much,’ the 61-year-old told RAC 1. ‘He is still a Barcelona player. You have to pay the clause or a transfer fee to Barca.
‘I think he can be here at the beginning of next season. I don’t know if he wants to come back or go away again, I have to talk to him to ask him. He is a great player, no doubt about it.’
New Barcelona boss Quique Setien has labelled Coutinho ‘a great player’ opening the door for a potential first-team return for the Brazilian playmaker
Barcelona though remain open to offers for Coutinho to try and raise finances following the coronavirus outbreak.
However, they also want to strengthen a squad which has shown vulnerabilities this term despite leading the way in La Liga.
In doing so are weighing up the prospect of tempting Chelsea into a swap deal that would see them sign N’Golo Kante with Coutinho heading the other way to Stamford Bridge.
Coutinho has emerged as a Chelsea target and played against them in the Champions League earlier in the season with Bayern Munich, who he joined on loan for the 2019-20 season
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