Barcelona are set to give Philippe Coutinho one month to prove himself to the club, before deciding whether they will choose to sell him in the summer or not.
The Brazilian has struggled greatly since making his £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018. His poor form has cost him a place in the starting lineup, with Coutinho seeing just one minute of action in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Real Betis, prompting talk of an imminent departure from the Camp Nou.
Barcelona are set to face Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals and, according to Sport, club officials will meet following the conclusion of that tie on 16 April to discuss Coutinho’s future.
The group have previously met to analyse his form, and that will likely dominate the discussion next month, but it is expected that they could consider selling Coutinho next summer if they feel his form does not merit a regular first-team place.
Ousmane Dembele has continued to blossom for Barcelona, keeping the former Liverpool winger on the bench. However, Dembele has been sidelined by a muscle injury in recent weeks, and it is expected that Coutinho will be given plenty of chances to impress as Barcelona face a hectic month.
When Dembele has not been available, manager Ernesto Valverde has regularly utilised a 4-4-2 formation and has deemed Coutinho to be poorly suited to such a style. Barcelona do not want the 26-year-old to remain on the bench, but they appreciate that his form simply has not merited inclusion in the starting lineup in recent weeks.
They remain confident that he can rediscover his best form at the Camp Nou, but plenty of European giants are circling to involve themselves if Coutinho does become available for transfer.
The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and even Liverpool have been linked with a move for the former Premier League star, and Barcelona may find themselves unable to reject a sizeable offer – no less than €100m – for a player who is not a regular part of the lineup.