Interim Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been handed a major boost in his bid to bring in reinforcements to his midfield. The Man Utd legend has overseen a massive overturn of fortunes at the Old Trafford side since replacing former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho last December. Solskjaer may jump on the opportunity to sign Coutinho as Barcelona are weighing options to sell the Brazilian attacker.
The Norweigan allowed highly coveted Belgian midfield maestro Marouane Fellaini to depart the Theater of Dreams for Chinese League side Shandong Luneng Taishan.
The versatile midfield star is yet to be replaced at the club and Solskjaer is keen on securing a deal for Brazilian star Coutinho to fill the Belgian’s place.
Fellaini managed just twelve goals in six seasons at Manchester United compared to his twenty five goals in 141 appearances spread over five years at Everton. The 6’4in star was deemed surplus to requirements by Solskjaer and eventually departed last winter.
Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho will be handed a final chance to prove he deserves to stay at Barcelona before manager Ernesto Valverde makes a decision about the Brazilian’s future next month.
The former Liverpool man has struggled at the Nou Camp since moving to Spain in a club-record £142million deal back in January 2018.
With just four goals and two assists to his name so far this season, the 26-year-old has been limited to 16 La Liga starts with the majority of his recent starts coming as a result of injuries to Ousmane Dembele.
Coutinho was jeered by home supporters in the Catalan giants’ 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano earlier this month, but with the Frenchman set to be sidelined for the next month with a hamstring injury.
He will now have a huge opportunity to turn his fortunes around in the next month. Barcelona return to action against fierce-rivals Espanyol after the international break.
They also take on Villarreal and Atletico Madrid before their meetings with Manchester United – a side the Brazilian has repeatedly been linked with in recent months.
Barcelona bosses will meet with the playmaker’s representatives after their Champions League quarter-final showdown with the Red Devils to assess his future.
Barca remain hopeful Coutinho can turn his fortunes around at the Nou Camp, but are open to selling him in the summer if all parties agree should his struggles continue.