Suarez advises Philippe Coutinho on links with Chelsea, Man Utd

Luis Suarez has politely told Philippe Coutinho to fight for his future with Barcelona and resist the chance to return to the Premier League with Manchester United or Chelsea.

Coutinho’s £142million move to Barcelona has not all gone to plan, despite the Brazilian midfielder scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League this month. Rumours of a return to England refuse to go away, with United themselves keen on taking the playmaker back to the north of England.

According to reports in Spain, Chelsea have also identified Coutinho as the ideal replacement for Eden Hazard, who continues to be linked with a big money move to Real Madrid. Chelsea’s chances of landing the Brazilian, however, depend on the outcome of their appeal against FIFA’s decision to impose a transfer ban upon them.

However, Suarez has advised Coutinho that the criticism he has faced during his 15 months in Catalonia is part and parcel of being a Barcelona player and he has told him to stick with Ernesto Valverde’s side rather than return to the Premier League this summer.

“Barcelona players have to live with constant criticism: you have to have the internal mental strength to overcome bad moments,” Suarez said.

“He is talking about himself, but he applies that to Barcelona’s other ex-Liverpool player.

“Philippe is a friend, he’s young, and I try to advise him. At Liverpool he proved the player he is. It was hard for me and I told him it would be the same.

“You have to accept criticism but the most important thing is that he’s comfortable, happy, his team-mates trust in him, the manager trusts in him.

“Players are exposed. The smallest thing you do – tiny, like Philippe did – is made bigger.

Philippe Coutinho TEAMtalk

“The manager said it: ‘I’m surprised that you’re talking about the gesture and not the great goal he scored’, a goal that would have given him confidence.

“Sometimes you have to understand him. If fans want a player to perform, be on his side, support him, because a player out on the pitch – and it happens to me – is not stupid.

“He hears it when he loses a ball and there’s this ‘zzzzzhhhhhiiii’, he hears that buzzing, that murmur, and that affects him.

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona

“He thinks: ‘ay, the fans, ay, if I lose another ball’. No. The fans have to support our players. If they want to win the Champions League and everything, they have to be with the player.”

Despite the words of wisdom from Suarez, it remains unclear whether Barcelona will look to cash in on Coutinho this summer, despite likely having to take a hit on their investment.


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