Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué says that Ernesto Valverde will not sell Philippe Coutinho this summer.

Liverpool sold the Brazilian for £142million a year ago after he forced a move through to the Catalans but he has struggled for form and game time this season prompting speculation over his future in Spain.

He has been linked with a move back to England with Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly interested. Liverpool have been written about as the fairytale return story but there have been very few concrete links so far.

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“We expected much more, the fans did, Barcelona did,” he said on the Guillem Balagué Transfer Show.

“Right now he seems like a very shy player who is not making a big enough impact into games. Even though he’s given the opportunity to grow and I’m sure at some point he will certainly improve.

“But linked to that and the fact that he’s not starting the big games and not starting every game, there are stories that come out in the English press, not the Spanish press, saying Manchester United one day and Chelsea the next.

“Barcelona have got no intention to get rid of Coutinho.

“We will see if this lack of impact continues down the line but right now Coutinho’s important to Barcelona, very important.

“Because they feel that he adds quality even though they realise that he’s not the midfielder that they thought they were getting.”

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South African Liverpool fan and freelance writer.

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