Things just aren’t working out for Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona.
The Brazilian completed his £142 million switch from Liverpool one year ago but there are already rumours that he could soon be sold.
The Evening Standard reported on Thursday that Coutinho is “playing for his future” at the Camp Nou and could be sold in the summer to fund an attempt to re-sign Neymar.
Coutinho has struggled to nail down a position in Barcelona’s starting line-up in an almost ‘square peg in a round hole’ situation.
He doesn’t fit as a winger in Ernesto Valverde’s 4-3-3 system, while he’s failed to step into Andres Iniesta’s shoes in midfield.
What makes things worse for Coutinho is that he hasn’t been missed at Anfield.
In fact, Jurgen Klopp’s men have thrived without the 26-year-old and look set to start winning trophies.
Klopp's message to Coutinho in 2017
It all makes Klopp’s message to Coutinho in May 2017 rather sad.
The Liverpool boss had no desire to sell the playmaker and wanted to see him become a legend on Merseyside.
“Stay here and they will end up building a statue in your honour," Klopp said, per the Independent.
"Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player.
"Here you can be something more."
Klopp was right.
Coutinho could have been a part of a Liverpool side that is now a serious contender not just in the Premier League, but in Europe too.
Instead, he’s become just another squad player at Barcelona and may not even see out his five-and-a-half year contract.
Shortly after Klopp’s words, Coutinho came out and downplayed any speculation that he would leave Liverpool.
“I have a long contract with Liverpool,” he told ESPN Brasil, per the Independent. “Speculation is for journalists only.”
Does Coutinho regret making the switch? That’s a question only he will know the answer to.