Philippe Coutinho’s stay at Barcelona has been confirmed by his agent Kia Joorabchian, who revealed Ronald Koeman moved rapidly to make his intentions known.
Just the day after Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona 8-2, knocking them out of the Champions League, Koeman called up Coutinho to tell him he is part of the future at the Nou Camp.
Clearly the wheels were already very much in motion for Koeman to replace Quique Setien in the immediate aftermath of the mauling, although the Dutchman was not officially appointed until August 19.
© Provided by Daily Mail Philippe Coutinho is staying at Barcelona after an early phone call from Ronald Koeman
The news is a blow to a number of Premier League sides who were interested in signing Coutinho.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester all had an interest in the former Liverpool attacking midfielder.
But Joorabchian explained on TalkSPORT: ‘Koeman called him right after the Champions League victory with Bayern, the following day, and told him he’s very much in his plans and would like him to return
‘He was due to return on September 7 but actually he returned at the beginning of September because he didn’t want to lose his momentum and fitness, and he’s been training with Barcelona.
- All signs point to the fact Barcelona have changed quite dramatically, the way their philosophy of how they wanted to move forward from last year and the players they’ve brought in, like Coutinho, Dembele and Griezmann they’re all going to be part of the squad this year.’
Asked if Coutinho felt strange about scoring to help knock the Catalans out, Joorabchian added: ‘Well, you’ve got to do your job and he did his job perfectly, and it’s probably the reason why Barcelona want him back so badly.’
Coutinho would have been afforded an extended break after helping Bayern win the Champions League but wanted to seize momentum.
He is already back training with Barcelona and looking to make a strong impression on Koeman ahead of the new LaLiga season.
© Provided by Daily Mail A number of Premier League sides were interested but the Brazilian is staying