PHILIPPE COUTINHO wants to stay at Barcelona despite Manchester United contacting his agent, reports say.
Philippe Coutinho has struggled at Barcelona this season, with manager Ernesto Valverde admitting the Brazil international was far from happy with life at the club.
And, as a result of his lack of game time, links to Manchester United have started to arise.
Coutinho previously played for United’s fierce rivals Liverpool, spending five years at Anfield.
He has only been at Barcelona for 12 months.
And he impressed during the second half of last season, playing a key role as the club won a La Liga and Copa del Rey double.
This season, however, he has found life tough.
Valverde is currently more keen to play Ousmane Dembele, despite the Barcelona star’s questionable attitude.
And that has led to Coutinho spending plenty of minutes on the bench.
Mundo Deportivo add, though, that Coutinho could change his mind at the end of the season if he continues to struggle.
United could sit tight until the summer if their interest is as concrete as it seems.
Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Paul Mariner believes the Barcelona star should resist United’s advances to stay.
“I don’t know why he would want to go there, I don’t know why Barcelona would want to sell such a fantastic player,” Mariner said.
“Yes (Ousmane) Dembele has come in and done very, very well of late, but Coutinho is a proven quality player.
“Would you go from Barcelona to Manchester United, the state that Man United is in at the moment?
“They’re not sure who the manager is going to be.
“I’m going to say – young man, stay where you are.”
Barcelona are not expected to make any major additions to their squad this month.
But any Coutinho exit would likely see them act.
United are open to signing players for the right price.
However, with no permanent manager in charge, transfer business looks likelier to take place in the summer.