Barcelona coach Quique Setien has seemingly dropped a big hint that Philippe Coutinho can still have a future at the club next season.
The 27-year-old struggled for the Blaugrana after arriving from Liverpool in 2018, scoring just 21 goals and providing 11 assists in 76 appearances.
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He was shipped out on a season-long loan deal to Bayern Munich last summer, and having failed to rediscover his top form for the reigning Bundesliga champions thus far, the Brazilian international could be heading back to the Nou Camp this summer if they don’t exercise their option to buy him outright.
As noted by the Express, Coutinho has been heavily linked with a fresh exit this summer with the likes of Man Utd and Chelsea said to be interested, but it seems as though Setien has left the door open to possibly giving the outcast another chance under his stewardship next season.
“I think Coutinho is a great player, I really like him,” he is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo. “He is still a Barcelona player. You have to pay the clause or pay a sum to Barça. I think he can be here at the beginning of next season. I have to talk to him to ask him.”
Time will tell if those discussions lead to a fresh start with the Catalan giants or not, but having been offloaded prior to Setien’s arrival at Barcelona, the Spanish tactician may have different plans and has a role for Coutinho to play in his side.
It remains to be seen if that’s enough to convince the Brazilian ace that it is worth having a second shot at Barca, but having splashed out a whopping £142m on him, as per BBC Sport, the club will surely be desperate to see him flourish even belatedly rather than have to cut their losses on him and concede that it ultimately didn’t work out.