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Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move for Barcelona outcast Philippe Coutinho, as the Brazilian has struggled to perform since leaving the Premier League.
After spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Coutinho isn’t yet near his best we saw at Liverpool, and Chelsea might be an escape route for the 27-year-old.
However, reports claim that Barcelona star Lionel Messi isn’t in support of the club selling Coutinho, but would rather that the club sell Ousmane Dembele, who as well has struggled at the Nou Camp after a big money move as well.
The Athletic claim that Messi has been angered by how the club have treated the former Liverpool midfielder. Barca senior players also don’t want the Brazilian to be sold, the report claims.
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Quique Setien has hailed Chelsea transfer target Philippe Coutinho for his quality and believes there’s not many players of his kind.
“He’s a great player and I really like him,” Barcelona coach, Quique Setien told radio station, RAC1, according to MARCA.
“Of course, I would want to have him back. I would want to talk with him,” Setien noted. “The way you let him play, the things you allow him to do, plays a big role. In Barcelona, however, the main role is always reserved for Lionel Messi. You have to deal with that.
“When he was here, Barca’s game style did not suit him. He was pushed to the outside lane in a 4-4-2 and had to pursue the opposing full-back from time to time because the rooms inside were occupied by Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
“He has a lot of quality and he offers many solutions in tight spaces. There are not many players of his kind.”