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Barcelona could sell Philippe Coutinho in order to bring Neymar back

Barcelona could sell Philippe Coutinho in order to bring Neymar back

However, with a noticeable dip in Coutinho's recent performance and Ernesto Valverde's preference for young Ousmane Dembele on the wing, the 26-year-old Brazilian has found himself in a hard situation, with slight criticism beginning to come from team management.

Barcelona are considering selling Philippe Coutinho in order to fund a move for Neymar, according to the Evening Standard.

Former Inter Milan and Liverpool star Coutinho has started half of Barcelona's 18 La Liga matches this term. And that has led to speculation that Manchester United could look to bring him back to the Premier League. He has been warned he must knuckle down and fight for his place by boss Ernesto Valverde.

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Before last night's goal in the first leg of Copa del Rey "Round of 16", the Brazilian star scored his last shot in the 5-1 crushing of Real Madrid in October.

However, Coutinho is not prepared to quit a club he put so much effort into joining just yet. Coutinho was a big-money arrival at the Nou Camp last January as he left Liverpool in a £142m deal.

One report in Spain said his dad had begged Barca chiefs to do all they can to re-sign him and El Mundo say he has been in contact with them on five separate occasions.

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Clauses inserted into his contract that potentially wouldn't be triggered could cost the Reds up to £22m.

A close friend to Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi of Barca, Neymar also spent Christmas with midfielder Arthur, who is said to have a growing relationship with.

But Barca manager Valverde says the "world-class" Brazilian is unlikely to make an imminent return.

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After being shocked by Levante, Ernesto Valverde's players gave a timely reminder of the quality they possessed in what was nearly a flawless team display.