Brazilian star attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho was rumored to be on the chopping block at Barcelona for some time now, but his exit now seems to be imminent after the team’s meltdown in UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Liverpool.
According to ESPN, sources close to club report that Coutinho is considered to be out of the door and that the club’s decision to sell him was cemented after another poor performance on Tuesday night. The fact that the coaching staff was reportedly disappointed with the 26-year-old and his work ethics since he arrived from Liverpool in January 2018 also played a big part in the decision.
“Coutinho is not a Barcelona player, that’s been made clear,” – source from the club has told ESPN.
Philippe Coutinho established himself as one of the best young soccer players in the world while in Liverpool, and he was expected to justify the tag when he joined Barcelona in a transfer worth $140 million. Coutinho started the 2018-19 season in a strong fashion, but he started struggling after an injury he suffered in October and lost his place in the starting 11. He played 33 games in La Liga this season and only scored eight goals alongside five assists.
Coutinho might not be the only one to leave the club in the summer, as Barcelona is considering the future of their coach Ernesto Valverde as well. Although Valverde led the team to two straight La Liga titles, he wasn’t as successful in Champions League. Still, the team is unlikely to make a decision until the offseason.