La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou

La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou
La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou

La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said midfielder Philippe Coutinho is in his plans for this season following media reports that the club were looking to offload the Brazilian.

With the Catalans in dire straits financially, local media had suggested that Barca were actively trying to sell Coutinho in order to bring their wage bill down.

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While Koeman confirmed that 29-year-old Coutinho will not be fit for this weekend’s trip to Athletic Bilbao, the Dutchman said the player will feature heavily this season.

La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou

“He needs another week to train with the group before we can pick him, but he’s in my plans because he’s a fantastic player,” Koeman told a news conference on Friday.

“He can be important for Barca. He was in the team last season but got injured – however I’m telling you, he’s in my plans this term.

“He can play in various positions, and we’ve lost goals with the departure of (Lionel) Messi and need to find them somewhere else. Philippe is an option in that sense.”

Koeman added that Pedri will be available for the game in the Basque country before being given time off after featuring in 74 games for club and country since the start of last season.

“We’ve been thinking about this for a while with Pedri and after tomorrow’s game we’ll give him a fortnight off,” he said.

La Liga: Barcelona coach Koeman clears air on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou

“I’ve spoken to (Spain coach) Luis Enrique and they will make their own decisions and explain them, but from our point of view we’ll give him two weeks off.”

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