Philippe Coutinho was offered hope of a future at Barcelona. Ronald Koeman however admits that Miralem Pjanic, Samuel Umtiti and others are on the right track to leave Camp Nou.
Liga giants have been trying desperately to get large earners off their books for a long time, with financial difficulties in Catalunya forcing Lionel Messi to leave as a free agent to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Brazil international Coutinho was one of the players Barca were open to offers for. However, the ex- Liverpool star will still be a part of the 2021-22 plans by his manager if he does not make a move before the deadline.
When Koeman was asked about Coutinho’s absence from Saturday’s Athletic Club meeting, he said that Philippe is not there because he needed to continue training with the group for one more week before being called up.
“I count on him because of his great playing ability. Barca can use him. He began playing last year before sustaining an injury. Coutinho is my best friend for this season.”
Barca boss Jorge Luis Barca added that “Coutinho is versatile and can play in many positions.” He can also play on the left wing.
“We have lost goals to Messi, and we need to find them in other players.” Philippe is one of these players.”
Coutinho may see his slate cleared by the Blaugrana. Umtiti and Pjanic have been advised to join another club after they were firmly frozen out at Camp Nou.
Pjanic, a Bosnian midfielder, has been linked to Juventus while Umtiti, a World Cup-winning French centre half is being linked to clubs in Ligue 1 or the Premier League.
Koeman commented on the out-of favour duo, “There are players such as them who have a very hard time having minutes but the final decision remains on the part the players.
“They are in a difficult position, yes.”
Koeman offered hope to Martin Braithwaite, the Danish forward, and his chances at fending off transfer talks to become a key player in an ambitious side.
The Dutchman stated that he knew the club’s situation and would listen if there was interest.
“He demonstrated that he was important to the team. He is a great person to work with. He is disciplined and accepts his job. He must stay, in my opinion.”