‘He’s a great player and I really like him’ – Chelsea set to be disappointed in race for summer target

If the latest quotes attributed to one particular manager are to be taken literally, then it appears that Frank Lampard could be disappointed in his pursuit of one particular player this summer.

The Sun report on how Chelsea are firm favourites to sign Philippe Coutinho, however, there’s a twist to any potential move that perhaps even they didn’t see coming.

Aside from the player’s ankle operation which will keep him out of action with current loan club, Bayern Munich, for approximately six weeks, it appears that parent club, Barcelona, are more than happy for the player to return.

“He’s a great player and I really like him,” Barcelona coach, Quique Setien told radio station, RAC1, and cited by MARCA.

It seems fairly obvious that the Brazilian will take some persuading to resurrect his career at the Camp Nou, but the Daily Star note Setien’s further praise of the player, which could be warmly received by Coutinho, given that he hasn’t been at his best for some while now.

“Of course, I would want to have him back. I would want to talk with him,” Setien noted. “The way you let him play, the things you allow him to do, plays a big role. In Barcelona, however, the main role is always reserved for Lionel Messi. You have to deal with that.

“When he was here, Barca’s game style did not suit him. He was pushed to the outside lane in a 4-4-2 and had to pursue the opposing full-back from time to time because the rooms inside were occupied by Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

“He has a lot of quality and he offers many solutions in tight spaces. There are not many players of his kind.”

On his day, Coutinho is a handful, but the worry for supporters of the Catalan club will surely be that if he is to be given another chance, whether he can rekindle the kind of form that he showed when playing for Liverpool.

Chelsea will surely be monitoring the situation with interest, and things might not now be as cut and dried as they appeared before.

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