According to reports in Spain, Philippe Coutinho‘s agents Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci have contacted Barcelona over concerns about his playing time.
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 difficult situation, with slight criticism beginning to come from team management.
Prior to Barcelona’s surprising 2-1 loss to Levante in the Copa del Rey final 16, Valverde’s assistant Jon Aspiazu gave a newsworthy response when asked about the Brazilian’s recent lack of playing time. “Coutinho is perhaps not at last year’s level and Dembélé has passed a little above him,” Aspiazu said on the GOL television broadcast of the match. He did reverse that take slightly, following up with, “But he is a player which we consider as a starter and will be very important for us in the remainder of the season, for sure.”
Coutinho has not started any of the last four La Liga matches, with Barcelona winning those four games against Espanyol, Levante, Celta Vigo, and Getafe by a combined 13-1.