Barcelona manager Quique Setien breaks silence on Philippe Coutinho’s future: report

Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona manager Quique Setien has said that he would welcome the opportunity to work with Chelsea target Philippe Coutinho when he returns from his season-long loan at Bayern Munich.

Coutinho joined the Blaugrana from Liverpool in a club-record deal in January 2018 and over the next 18 months, he was able to contribute 21 goals and 11 assists across all competitions for the club.

With the arrival of Antoine Griezmann last summer, Coutinho knew that his playing time could be limited under ex-boss Ernesto Valverde and he therefore made the move to Bayern on loan.

He has since registered nine goals and eight assists in his 32 appearances for Bayern but appears set to return to the Camp Nou this summer with the German side unlikely to trigger the optional buy clause.

In an interview with RAC1, Setien has recently said that he is a keen admirer of the Brazilian’s talents and is open the possibility of the 27-year-old playing for the Blaugrana next term.

“I really like him. He is a player who in principle, is from Barça, either the clause should be paid or the transfer paid. I am counting on him being here to start the season. I don’t know if he wants to return or leave, I’ll talk to him when the time comes,” He told.

Setien has not got the chance to work with Coutinho, considering he was only appointed as the head coach in January following the dismissal of Valverde.

As a result, he appears keen on reintegrating Coutinho into the club’s plans but there remain doubts whether the attacker would settle for the left-wing position, where he has not looked overly comfortable.

The Brazil international has preferred to play in the number 10 role during the prime phase of his career and he could get that opportunity, should he pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere.

A return to the Premier League has recently been touted with Chelsea and Arsenal likely to be offered the chance to sign him on either a permanent deal or a season-long loan.

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