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Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona is becoming more disastrous by the week, with senior players at the La Liga giants reportedly ‘fed up’ of the Brazilian. The news comes as reports increase that Newcastle could offer him an escape route from his nightmare in Catalonia.
Coutinho joined Barca in the January of 2018 for a fee of more than £100million, but he has been hampered by injuries since arriving at the Nou Camp.
He was sent on loan to Bayern Munich in 2019, but the perennial Bundesliga champions balked at bringing him back permanently.
On his return to the Nou Camp, he appeared to have found a way back into Ronald Koeman’s plans, providing two assists and scoring once in his first seven La Liga games.
But his season fell apart after a hamstring injury and then a rupture of his outer meniscus, which ruled him out for more than five months.
Coutinho returned to fitness in September, Koeman was sacked, the midfielder has struggled to impress, with interim boss Sergu Barjuan leaving him out of the starting line-up for both of his games in charge.
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Though he came on to play 50 minutes in the draw with Alaves in Barjuan’s first match as caretaker, Coutinho failed to come on against Celta Vigo on Saturday.
But rather than Barjuan overlooking him as Barca threw away a three-goal lead to be held to a point, it appears that Coutinho’s attitude meant he stayed on the bench.
Ansu Fati had started the game, scoring Barcelona’s opening goal, but went down injured in the closing stages of the first-half.
According to Esport3, Barjuan told Coutinho to warm-up in preparation for coming on for Fati, but the substitute walked off the bench with no apparent desire to play.
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He also reportedly verbalised his lack of desire to come on, telling the bench ‘It is not necessary now, rest is coming’.
Instead of Coutinho, it was Alex Balde who replaced Fati, with senior squad members left far from impressed with the Brazilian.
Esport3 report that the wider squad are starting to get ‘fed up’ of Coutinho’s poor attitude in training and in matches.
Goals from Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay added to Fati’s opener to put Barjuan’s side 3-0 up at half-time.
But Celta fought back after the break and remarkably claimed a point, thanks to a goal from Nolito and Iago Aspas’s brace.
And amid the post-game debrief in the dressing room at quite how Barca managed to throw a win away, senior players reportedly turned on Coutinho.
It is stated that they ‘reproached him’ for his poor attitude when being directed to warm-up, with this not being the first time a wake-up call has been given to him.
He still has 18 months left on his contract at the Nou Camp but his poor attitude will not have impressed incoming boss Xavi, raising the possibility that Newcastle could attempt a January move.
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