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Philippe Coutinho’s “dream” transfer declaration being put to the test

Philippe Coutinho finds himself in an unusual limbo whereby he could leave Camp Nou before the transfer window shuts – or play an important role for Barcelona this season

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Philippe Coutinho’s loyalty to Barcelona is being put through its paces one year on from when he declared it was his “dream” to represent the Catalans.

Coutinho, 29, finds himself in an unusual limbo whereby he could leave Camp Nou before the transfer window shuts – or play an important role for Barca this season.

The latest reports in Spain claim Ronald Koeman is willing to listen to approaches for the Brazilian, who has been linked with a return to the Premier League.

But should no suitable offers arrive, the Barcelona boss is prepared to hand Coutinho a prominent role following Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.



Coutinho’s future is uncertain with just over 10 days until the transfer window shuts
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Image:

SIPA USA/PA Images)




Arsenal were said to be keen on the former Liverpool playmaker but Mikel Arteta has decided to trust his senior attackers to complement the £30million signing of Martin Odegaard.

This has ruled out one potential destination for Coutinho, who appears more likely to stay at Barca by the day.

Some players would be disgruntled if their club were willing to let them leave, especially as Coutinho always dreamt of representing Barcelona.









He opened up on his love of the club after a successful treble-winning loan spell at Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 season.

“I am returning to Barcelona with a lot of enthusiasm,” said Coutinho. “It was always the club I dreamed of playing for.”

But his arrival back in Catalonia ended disastrously as he suffered a hamstring injury followed by a meniscus rupture which required two surgeries, limiting him to 14 appearances in all competitions.

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Coutinho is yet to make a competitive appearance in 2021 and missed Brazil’s run to the final of the Copa America as he stepped up his rehabilitation.

But he has returned to fitness in time for the new season and could return to the match-day squad for the clash with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

By that time there will be just over one week until the transfer window shuts, so Coutinho’s involvement – or lack thereof – in the La Liga clash will be telling.







If he does not feature, a fresh wave of speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League may well arise – especially given what his agent said last July.

“It’s no secret he (Coutinho) wants to come back to the Premier League,” Kia Joorabchian told talkSPORT. “‘It’s still very much open. There is a lot of genuine interest.

“He loves playing in the Premier League, he is adored playing in the Premier League and that is one of his priorities.”












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