‘Chelsea won’t be put off Coutinho by injury’ – Brazilian's Barcelona future remains uncertain, admits Rivaldo

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Chelsea will not have been put off Philippe Coutinho by the Brazilian’s recent injury issues, says Rivaldo, but there remains no guarantee that he will be on the move in the next transfer window.

Speculation regarding the 27-year-old’s future has raged for some time, with it expected that those at Camp Nou will look to move him on at the next opportunity.

A loan switch to Bayern Munich was sanctioned in 2019, but a season-long spell in Germany has not played out as planned. Coutinho is currently back on the treatment table after being forced to undergo ankle surgery, with it unclear as to whether he will figure in the Bundesliga again.

Bayern will not be taking up a purchase option, but a number of teams in the Premier League are said to be keen on taking the former Liverpool playmaker back to England.

Rivaldo believes that interest will be retained, telling Betfair: “Chelsea are the favourites to sign Coutinho and I don't believe they will be put off by his recent injury. After all, next season is still very distant and he will have enough time to a completely recover.

“On the other hand, if the transfer doesn't go forward and he stays at Barcelona perhaps a salary reduction, based on the player's decision, could earn plaudits from the club’s board and maybe let him show that he is eager to remain at the club and finally prove his worth.

“Yes, there are many clubs already reducing their players' salaries because of coronavirus crisis, but if the player takes a step forward in that themselves it would be seen as the attitude of someone interested in remaining at the club. Much could happen before next season and we can only wait for the next chapters of this story.”

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Rivaldo has stated in the past that Coutinho could still have a role to play in Catalunya, with the World Cup winner not about to give up on a fellow countryman despite his struggles since leaving Anfield in January 2018.

“I still believe Coutinho has the quality to succeed,” added Rivaldo. “But sometimes football is tough and volatile.

"The misfortune you might have at one moment can be overcome, so Coutinho must keep calm and be confident about the future because he has lots of quality to shine at any club. This is a delicate moment for him and he must stay positive that things will turn for the better soon.”