Barcelona had made their mind up to sell Philippe Coutinho prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, however the unclear fiscal climate that is likely to exist once sport returns pretty much ensures there will be no suitors for a player who had disappointed since arriving in Spain.
However, Barcelona coach Quique Setien has a plan for him: to move him into midfield.
Bayern Munich have no intention of making his loan move permanent, and haven’t for a while, but Setien has not at all given up on the former Liverpool playmaker.
“He’s a great player and I really like him,” Setien told RAC1.
Ernesto Valverde always used Coutinho as a false winger on the left, but he never quite fit into that role at Barcelona.
He was occasionally saved by his goals, but his performances deteriorated to a level that he was whistled by supporters at the Camp Nou.
Setien has been tasked with finding a solution to the problem that is the Brazilian, and he has decided the best way to do that is to push him back into midfield.
Due to his attacking talent and his precision in the final third, Coutinho could fit as a No.8 in midfield, which may work with Arthur Melo and Frenkie de Jong or Sergio Busquets sat behind him to provide defensive solidity.
Barcelona still have to pay Liverpool 20 million euros when Coutinho plays 100 games and he currently stands at 74, and if he remains at the Catalan club beyond the summer, then he will easily reach that milestone.