The head coach made it clear that the midfielder has a future at Camp Nou unless an appropriate fee is paid.
FC Barcelona manager Quique Setien mentioned his appreciation and admiration for want-away player Philippe Coutinho and expects the midfielder to stay at the Catalan club until a fee worthy of his services is paid up.
Coutinho didn’t have the best of times with Barcelona after his transfer from Liverpool in the winter of 2018 and was subject to a lot of criticism from fans and pundits like which saw him make a temporary switch to the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
Bayern who had the option of making the loan deal permanent for a club-record £120m have reportedly rejected the idea which will mean that Coutinho will more or less return to Catalunya next season and Setien expects to welcome the player back to his turbulent home. Bayern’s rejection means the window is open for clubs looking to prise the midfielder away with Chelsea, Manchester United and former club Liverpool in pole position to land the player, should he choose to leave.
Talking to Spanish radio RAC1 about the situation, Quique Setien mentioned, “I think Coutinho is a great player, I really like him. He is still a Barcelona player. You have to pay the clause or pay a sum to Barca. I think he can be here at the beginning of next season. I have to talk to him to ask him.”
Barcelona would look to strike rich from the possible sale of Coutinho and would try to retain the lion’s share of their £142m fee paid to Liverpool as they have slapped a contract clause value of a mammoth £355m.
Coutinho’s sale could help in a way to get Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan as the Argentine forward sits atop Barcelona’s priority list next season along with a perennially discussed return for Neymar from PSG.
But reports suggest that unlike the past few seasons, Barcelona would not be looking to splash the big bucks on players due to the economic cease measures to be in place post the containment of the coronavirus debacle.
Speaking about the transfer plans ahead of the summer, Setien responded by saying, “I like all great footballers, there are a dozen in Europe who are extraordinary. But I really like the ones I have too.”