Philippe Coutinho has spent the season away from Barcelona on loan at Bayern Munich and it’s been widely expected he will leave the club again in the summer
Yet Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has offered a surprise update on the Brazilian’s future in an interview with talkSPORT on Tuesday.
Joorabchian refused to rule out the possibility of Coutinho staying at Barcelona, even though he “loves” the Premier League, and said a decision will be made after the Champions League.
“Because the Champions League is going to run all the way until August 23, I think it will be difficult for players like Coutinho to make any commitment or move until that date
“He has the Champions League at the moment and they have to qualify for the next round [against Chelsea], and then he could play Barcelona, believe it or not.
“After the Champions League, it’s not been a secret that he wants to come back to the Premier League if he can; he loves playing in the Premier League and is adored in the Premier League.
“It is one of his priorities… but he is also not against staying at Barcelona, so it is very much open.
Coutinho is set to remain with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for their Champions League campaign. The German team could face Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the competition should both teams win their last-16 games.
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Where Next for Coutinho?
Coutinho has struggled to consistently find his best form for both Barcelona and Bayern after shining so brightly at Liverpool but may not lack for offers this summer.
A return to the Premier League looks the most likely option, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City all keen, according to Albert Masnou at Sport.
Yet the Brazilian certainly won’t come cheap, according to Masnou. A loan deal would cost clubs €20 million ($23m) for the loan plus a further €10m ($11m) to cover Coutinho’s wages.
Barcelona Need to Sell
Yet Barcelona may prefer to sell Coutinho to raise funds after being financially hit due to the Covid-10 crisis. ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden have reported Coutinho may need to be sold if Barca are to afford a deal for Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
Yet finding a buyer for a player who cost Barcelona $183 million in January 2018 is likely to be difficult. The Catalan giants would have to take a big financial hit on the Brazilian, but Joorabchian added he does not expect to see many mega-deals this summer.
He explained: “I don’t envisage too many deals of that nature – 80 to 100 million. There will be a lot of 10 to 30 or 40 million.”
Coutinho helped Bayern to a league and cup double this season and could even end the campaign as a treble-winner if the German giants triumph when the Champions League resumes in August.