Ex-Inter Midfielder Touted for Serie A Return from Barcelona

Ex-Inter midfielder Philippe Coutinho’s future at Barcelona has been the subject of great speculation for quite some time. The out-of-favour Brazilian forward has a contract valid until June 2023, but it looks highly likely that the Blaugrana management will take the decision to release him in the January transfer window if the opportunity arrives.

He was sparsely used by Ronald Koeman and with the onboarding of Xavi Hernandez, his fortunes don’t seem to change anytime soon – playing just 98 minutes across five matches since Xavi’s coaching debut in the Catalan Derbi against Espanyol at the end of November.

According to reports from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are keen on offloading the 29-year-old and three teams are said to be on the hunt for his transfer. Premier League trio Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle United are in the race for his signature, along with high-flying Serie A champions Inter.

Coutinho’s name is mentioned alongside Serginho Dest, Samuel Umtiti, Neto and Luuk De Jong – as four players who do not fit into Xavi’s future plans.

He featured for the Nerazzurri between 2010 and 2013, capping 43 times and scoring 5 goals in the process. His high-profile transfer from Vasco da Gama for €4m as talented 16-year-old attacker racked him up for glory at the Giuseppe Meazza, with then president Massimo Moratti even touting Coutinho as the ‘future of Inter’.

However, it was at Anfield where he shone the brightest, earning praise for his penchant for scoring spectacular curling long rangers and the ability to blitz past Premier League defences with surgical close control. He scored 54 goals in 201 appearances for Liverpool, before moving to Barcelona.