Barcelona ‘have a dilemma’ over playmaker Philippe Coutinho with his future at the club becoming increasingly unclear, say reports in Spain.
El Pais say the Brazilian does not fit into the preferred system at the Camp Nou while a report in the London Evening Standard claims he could be sold in order for the club to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
The report in El Pais outlines how Coutinho was primarily signed to be a replacement for the outgoing Andres Iniesta, but that role has been filled ‘more appropriately’ by his fellow Brazilian Arthur Melo, a summer signing from Gremio.
It outlines how Coutinho was instead chosen in an attacking position alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez by the Blaugrana but has made way in the side for Ousmane Dembele this campaign.
El Pais say the former Inter and Liverpool player created 0.32 chances per game last season – netting 10 goals and providing five assists – while his changes per game has dropped to 0.17 this season, with just five goals and four assists.
“I'm happy with Coutinho, but sometimes we need to make changes and select others,” they cite Valverde as saying this week.
“When I played Philippe they asked me why Dembele was not involved and now it's the other way around.”
The Evening Standard claim Coutinho could leave the club in the future to provide funds to facilitate his Brazilian compatriot Neymar’s return to the Catalan capital.