Quique Setien has offered Philippe Coutinho a potential lifeline at Barcelona by insisting he is ‘counting on’ the Brazilian ahead of next season.
Coutinho has struggled to make an impression at Barcelona since joining the club from Liverpool two years ago, with the playmaker spending the past season on loan at Bayern Munich after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou.
The 27-year-old’s fortunes have failed to significantly improve during a season in the Bundesliga and he has been strongly linked with a return to the Premier League this summer, Chelsea amongst a host of clubs in England’s top tier currently monitoring Coutinho’s situation.
However, he could be in line for a surprise return to the fold at Barcelona following the arrival of Setien earlier this year, the Catalan club’s head coach insisting he is ‘counting on’ the Brazil international ahead of next season, though he also managed to suggest he could leave if someone offers ‘a certain amount’.
“I think Coutinho is a great player,” Setien told RAC1. “I like him a lot. He’s a player who, in principle, is Barcelona’s.
“Any team that wants him has to pay his clause (€400m) or a certain amount to Barca.
“I’m counting on him [possibly] being here at the start of next season. I don’t know what he wants to do.
“Perhaps I have to speak to him and ask him. He is a great player, without doubt.”