Barcelona must come clean with Philippe Coutinho over his future, according to his agent Kia Joorabchian, who claims they have promised the Brazilian will remain at the club while trying to include him in a deal for Neymar.
The 27-year-old has struggled to live up to expectations since his £100 million transfer to Barcelona in 2018.
Coutinho himself has admitted that he had a poor first full season at Camp Nou that yielded just five La Liga goals and two assists.
Speculation has mounted about his future, with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germainand even former team Liverpool rumoured as possible destinations this summer window.
When asked about his future last month, the attacker admitted he was not sure where he would be playing his football next campaign, though he insisted his main focus was Brazil’s Copa America campaign.
With the competition now over and attention starting to shift towards the new season, Philippe Coutinho’s future at Camp Nou has again been put in the spotlight.
Joorabchian, however, has attempted to shut down transfer talk by saying the Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, told Coutinho that the club have no intention of selling him.
“I will not let people talk about Philippe and put him down because for one-and-a-half years we have said nothing,” he told the Telegraph . “I won’t let them do that and all of us in Philippe’s camp will not let that happen because Barcelona have told us he is staying.”
And in another interview with RMC Sport, Joorabchian claimed Andre Cury, Barcelona’s recruiter for South America, is secretly trying to arrange a swap deal for Neymar with PSG which includes Coutinho as part of it.
The agent further questioned the motives of the Catalans, demanding to know what their intentions are with his client.
“The president [Bartomeu] was clear: he had no intention of selling the player, to any club,” Joorabchian told RMC Sport .
“With that, and out of respect for Barcelona’s decision to keep him, we chose not to look at the market for our player and we have not offered the player to other clubs.
“But I learned, and it’s a fact, that Andre Cury is saying totally different things. Andre Cury is pushing for Coutinho to be included in the transfer for Neymar.
“As I said, Coutinho has no offer from any other clubs because we respected Barcelona’s decision, but they do not respect the word they gave to us.
“We have been silent in this period, but it will not be allowed for Barcelona to lie about the player. They must tell the truth!
“And if they want Coutinho to leave, they have to say it. With the player, we will decide what is best for his future.”