Philippe Coutinho is at his lowest ever ebb at Barcelona according to reports in Spain, who now claim the playmaker is ready to seek a return to the Premier League.
The Brazil international is only a year into his contract at the Camp Nou following his £142million move from Liverpool last January.
However, he has so far failed to justify the heavy price tag and Ernesto Valverde hasn’t started him in a LaLiga match since December 2 – and overall has only started one of their last nine games, with Arthur Melo and Arturo Vidal seemingly now preferred in midfield.
Coutinho only played seven minutes in Barcelona‘s narrow 2-1 win over Getafe on Sunday and amid claims Manchester United were reportedly ‘in talks’ over a potential move which would cost in excess of £100million.
Now Marca claim Coutinho has “hit rock bottom” at Barcelona and is looking to return to the Premier League at the first available opportunity.
A move back to Liverpool would be his preference, and while reports on Friday suggested the Reds were ‘exploring ways in which they could finance the package’, it seems Manchester United are the only side currently willing to meet his £100m asking price.
Further doubts over Coutinho’s future has been raised by claims by Valverde’s assistant, Jon Aspiazu, who claims the Brazilian has ‘shown little discipline on and off the field’.
“Perhaps he’s not at the level he was last year,” Aspiazu told Gol TV before Thursday’s game. “[Ousmane] Dembele has overtaken him a little bit, but he’s a player we consider to be a starter and he’ll be very important for us for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, Valverde himself told Coutinho he had to work hard to change the situation.
“When [Ousmane] Dembele wasn’t playing, everyone was asking about him,” Valverde said after the Levante game.
“Now Coutinho isn’t playing and it’s the other way around. When a player isn’t playing or isn’t happy, he has to fight to revert the situation.”
And reports that he is being coveted by United received this response from Barcelona director Guillermo Amor earlier in the week.
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