According to Sport, Philippe Coutinho has no intention of leaving Barcelona this January, despite the numerous links with Newcastle United. Instead, he is keen to stay where he is and fight for a regular place under newly appointed head coach, Xavi Hernandez.
Having been a major part of a huge creative force in the ranks of a very mighty Barcelona himself, Xavi should be quite able to tell if Coutinho can bring his team what is needed. The Brazilian playmaker joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 for €160 million, after a number of controversies which reportedly involved him faking injury to force the move.
It’s fair to say his contribution at the Camp Nou has since been rather underwhelming. He hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular started under any of the coaches he’s so far worked with – Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien and Ronald Koeman. This term, he has only started four of 13 La Liga matches so far, despite the team obviously needing a creative spark after the departure of the iconic Lionel Messi during the summer. Overall, Coutinho has one goal and no assists in 11 appearances in all competitions in 2021-22.
Having spent the 2019-20 on loan at Bayern Munich, helping the Bavarians win the treble, Coutinho’s future has been a subject of much speculation for a long time. Even a return to Liverpool was mentioned, though it’s hard to imagine Jurgen Klopp wanting him back at Anfield after everything that happened during the last few months of his Anfield stay. But more recently, Newcastle have been heavily linked as they seek to build a team capable of contending for the Premier League title with through the funds of their new super-rich owners.
However, it seems Coutinho isn’t interested in joining the Magpies. At least not yet.