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    Barcelona backing Coutinho amid Man Utd & Chelsea talk


    It has been suggested that an imminent return to England could be on the cards, with Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge mooted as possible destinations.

    Barca, though, have the 26-year-old tied to a contract through to 2023 and will give him time in which to prove his worth.

    Guillermo Amor, the club’s director of institutional and sporting relations, told Sport when quizzed on the speculation surrounding a talented playmaker: “At the beginning with Coutinho we were happy and have always been happy.

    “We have to give him chances and he'll take them. He's always shown his quality. He takes risks, he tries.

    “It feels as if everyone is watching what he does, the poor guy. But we believe he'll carry on going forward.”

    Coutinho enjoyed a promising end to the 2017-18 campaign, netting seven times in his last six appearances.

    He then went on to find the target on two occasions for Brazil at the World Cup finals in Russia.

    Much was expected of him in his first full campaign at Camp Nou, but he has mustered just five goals and as many assists across 27 appearances in La Liga and the Champions League.

    A further three efforts have been registered in the Copa del Rey, with Barca still competing on multiple fronts and giving Coutinho as many chances as possible to play his way back into peak form.




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