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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 24 October 2020

'Coutinho would face more pressure at Liverpool' - Rivaldo

The Brazil international playmaker has been linked with a return to Anfield, but his fellow countryman believes he may want to remain at Camp Nou.

Barca midfielder Coutinho.
Barca midfielder Coutinho.
Image: Aitor Alcalde

PHILIPPE COUTINHO HAS been warned that he would face “more pressure” back at Liverpool than he does at Barcelona, with Rivaldo urging his fellow Brazilian to consider his options carefully.

A return to Anfield has been mooted for the 27-year-old playmaker after 18 testing months at Camp Nou.

A big-money move to the Liga champions has not gone as planned, with Coutinho having faced criticism for his form and contribution to the collective cause in Catalunya.

It could be that he is offered the chance to head back to England, especially as Barcelona have already brought in Antoine Griezmann and continue to explore another deal for Neymar.

Rivaldo, though, is not convinced that Coutinho needs a switch and believes heading back to Merseyside could actually work against his fellow countryman.

The Brazil and Barcelona legend told Betfair: “We all know that Philippe Coutinho played his best football at Liverpool, and I always believed that he could replicate it at Barcelona, but things haven’t been going that way.

“The chance of a return to Liverpool could be beneficial for him, but I’m not sure if he is thinking of going back to England.

“He might stay at Barcelona to try to raise his game and prove his value, showing that he can get through that bump in the road.

“He is coming back from winning a Copa America title and his confidence is high, so it’s hard to say if he’ll stay or go.

“I really appreciate his qualities as a player and think he has time to show his best at Camp Nou this season. Let’s wait and see…

“If he decides to join Liverpool, they will become stronger, but they are European champions and that will add more pressure for him, as it’s tough to win it successively.

“It would be a big challenge for both club and player.

“Remember, they were Champions League finalists and then winners in consecutive seasons after Coutinho’s departure, so if he does return, he’ll face that extra burden to win trophies for them.”

Coutinho remains under contract at Barcelona until 2023, but talk of a move to Liverpool or involvement in any agreement to take Neymar back to Camp Nou refuses to go away.

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