Philippe Coutinho has ‘no intention’ of leaving Barcelona in Newcastle transfer blow

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Newcastle fans were sent into a frenzy in October as it was announced the club had been sold to the Saudi Arabian Public Interest Fund. However, the new owners have been handed their first major blow as the player who could have been their marquee signing of the January transfer window has decided he will not be leaving his current club.

The Magpies recently appointed former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe as their manager following the departure of Steve Bruce in a bid to freshen up things at the club.

Howe’s top priority will most definitely be steering the Toon Army clear of safety after a miserable start to the season.

Newcastle are currently 19th in the league and without a win to their name, and the prospect of becoming one of the best teams in England may look a lot further away than first expected for the ownership.

Since arriving at the club, Newcastle have been linked with several stars who are out of favour at their respective clubs, but Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho is one player who won’t be arriving at St. James’ Park.

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According to Spanish outlet SPORT, the Brazilian has no intention of leaving Barca in the January transfer window and is keen to see out this season at the very least before he eyes up his next move.

The news is somewhat of a disaster for the Catalan club as their finances are still not in a great place so offloading Coutinho is seen as a priority.

The ex-Liverpool midfielder is the highest-paid player at the Camp Nou now, despite underperforming for the most part since his arrival in 2018.

Barca have recently appointed club legend Xavi as their manager which may give Coutinho one last chance to impress in Spain, but the player had the faith of Ronald Koeman earlier in the season but still was not a standout performer.

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The new management at Barca may be a factor in why Coutinho wants to remain at the club as he has revealed that Xavi was a player that he admired whilst growing up.

“Xavi was a great player, a great football idol, and now he is back home in Barcelona. I hope he can be very successful with the group we have,” he said recently.

“I was able to talk to him once when I visited some doctors in Qatar, I know he is a great man.”

Injuries have been blamed by many for Coutinho’s lack of form, and even as recently as this season has the Brazilian been forced to remain on the sidelines in order to prevent further injuries.

“It was not easy to be out for so long but I feel very good. Physically I’m well and I have no pain or problems, now what I need is time to find my best level,” Coutinho admitted.

“Since I returned I did not have a sequence of 4 or 5 games from the beginning to be able to reach my best level, get match fit.”

On his day, Coutinho can provide plenty of attacking threat from numerous positions.

The former Inter Milan is a great dribbler of the ball and his exquisite passing range means that he can create numerous chances per game.

Mauro Icardi of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United star Jesse Lingard and Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette have all been linked with a move to Newcastle recently.

It remains to be seen just how active Newcastle are in the January transfer window and whether, with the money that they have, they can persuade Coutinho to change his mind and return to the Premier League.

The Magpies will reportedly be given £200million to spend over the coming transfer windows – but are unlikely to spend big on any one player.

Instead, reports suggest they will focus on signing experienced players on relatively cheap fees this winter in order to secure Premier League survival.

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