A Blaugrana legend doesn’t think there is any chance of the Brazilian midfielder turning around his career at Camp Nou
Rivaldo says a return to the Premier League is the “best option” for Philippe Coutinho to take this summer, and that the Barcelona flop “could be a regular starter” at Arsenal or Tottenham next season.
Coutinho is due to head back to Barca at the end of the season following a loan spell at Bayern Munich, who have already decided against signing the midfielder on a permanent deal.
Quique Setien, who inherited the managerial reins at Camp Nou in January, insisted that the 28-year-old could be a part of his plans for next season when addressing speculation over his future during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
However, Coutinho’s agent revealed this week that there’s been “a lot of genuine interest” in his client over the past few months, and that he would like to secure a move back to England if he is forced out of Barcelona.
Kia Joorabchian told talkSPORT of the Brazil international’s current situation: “We’ve not kept it a secret that he wants to come back to the Premier League if he can.
“He adores playing in the Premier League and I think it’s one of his priorities, but he’s also not against staying in Barcelona so it’s very open.”
Coutinho established himself as one of the finest young playmakers in Europe during a five-year stint at Liverpool before joining Barcelona for £142 million ($184m) in January 2018.
However, he hasn’t been able to reach the same heights in Spain, and Rivaldo thinks he would be wise to retrace his steps.
Arsenal and Tottenham have been among a number of clubs credited with an interest in Coutinho this year, although no formal offers have been submitted as yet.
Rivaldo is adamant that his fellow countryman would fit in well at either club, and has also suggested Leicester as another potential next destination.
“Philippe Coutinho will soon return from his loan at Bayern to Barcelona but I doubt he can revive his career there,” the Barca legend told Betfair.
“His best option could be returning to English football where he spent the best seasons of his career and in which his qualities seem to be best suited, as he proved at Liverpool when he was one of the best players in the Premier League.
“At Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester, Coutinho could be a regular starter next season. It would be a good opportunity for the Brazilian to rediscover his best form and show that he continues to be an excellent player who belongs to the elite.”