Philippe Coutinho is set to make a shock return to the first-team picture at Barcelona following talks with new boss Ronald Koeman, according to reports in Spain.
The Brazil international’s season-long loan spell at Bayern Munich came to a glorious end on Sunday night as the Bundesliga champions won their sixth European cup with a 1-0 victory against PSG in the Champions League final in Lisbon.
However, the Germans insisted they would not attempt to purchase him and he appeared to be destined for a move to the Premier League this summer with Quique Setien at the helm at the Camp Nou.
However, Dutchman Koeman has since replaced Setien and Mundo Deportivo claim that the former Netherlands and Everton boss called Coutinho on Monday morning to make it clear he is part of his plans for next season.
The report adds that after congratulating him on the Champions League final win, Koeman insisted that the former Liverpool star will see regular game time under him with the Catalan giants in 2020/21 and will have an important role to play.
The same outlet also reports that Koeman’s eagerness is being reciprocated by the 28-year-old Brazilian, whose contract at Barcelona runs until June 2023.
The report adds that Coutinho is willing to cut his holiday to Brazil to see members of his family short in order to return for the first day of training under Koeman, which is scheduled to start at the beginning of next week.
Coutinho is due an extended break having played as recently as Sunday, but is reportedly keen to return early to fight for a starting berth and become an important member of the team.
The Brazilian is said to have a bitter taste in his mouth due to his exit from Barcelona last summer but now wants to make up for lost time.
Coutinho scored twice for Bayern after coming on as a substitute in the Champions League quarter-final demolition of his parent club earlier this month.
Arsenal and Tottenham had been linked with summer moves for him, but reports now suggest that Koeman is set to be given total control of decision-making next season and wants Coutinho as part of his squad.
According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, the Dutchman is set to be given the freedom to sign the players he wants in order to begin the rebuild with the Catalan giants.