Coutinho backed to stay at Barca amid Man United speculation
Philippe Coutinho still has a future at Barcelona despite ongoing speculation over a transfer to Manchester United this summer, according to Edmilson.
The 26-year-old has struggled to justify his £146 million ($191m) price tag since moving to Camp Nou in January 2018 – failing to show the same kind of dynamic form he produced regularly at Liverpool.
The Brazilian has only managed to contribute six goals in 41 appearances across all competitions for Barca this season and he has been touted for a swift return to the Premier League.
Old Trafford has been earmarked as his most likely next destination, with Barcelona officials reportedly considering letting him go for a fee within the region of €80m (£69m/$90m).
The fact that the Spanish champions are willing to accept such a huge loss on their initial investment highlights how much Coutinho has struggled in La Liga, but Edmilson does not believe he will leave the club this year.
The Ligue 1 ambassador, who played for Barca between 2004 and 2008, has backed the ex-Liverpool star to stay at Camp Nou and fight for his place in Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI.
“Coutinho is not having a good season,” Edmilson said. “Mainly because of the good season of Ousmane Dembele.
“Dembele is fast and decisive and so, Coutinho has lost his position in the starting team match after match.
“He is currently not in a good shape so, when a player like him is not doing well, there are always transfer rumours. However, I think that he will stay for longer in Barcelona.”
Barca are on their way to retaining the Liga crown they won last year, having already opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the table ahead of Atletico Madrid.
They are also through to the last eight in the Champions League, with a huge showdown against United to look forward to this month.
A victory in the Copa del Rey final against Valencia in May could see Valverde’s men secure the treble, by which time Coutinho’s future will potentially become much clearer.
The Brazil international is likely to be granted plenty of chances during this crucial period for the club, especially with Dembele currently taking in a spell on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.
Next up for the Blaugrana is an away trip to Villarreal on Tuesday night, before they host Atletico at Camp Nou four days later.