Barcelona give Ronald Koeman power to decide Arsenal target Philippe Coutinho’s future

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Barcelona are set to give Ronald Koeman the final say over transfers.

Barcelona chiefs are set to give new manager Ronald Koeman the power to decide whether Philippe Coutinho is sold this summer. Club president Josep Bartomeu confirmed that the Arsenal transfer target can stay if Koeman wants him. 

Barcelona are set to undergo serious changes to the first-team squad. 

Bartomeu spoke to press on Tuesday and evaluated the situation the team is in following Friday night’s humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich. 

The club president confirmed the bulk of the squad will be up for sale this summer, with only a handful of players safe. 

Koeman is expected to be confirmed as the club’s new head coach in the coming days after Quique Setien was sacked.  

And the Dutchman will now be given the power to decide whether Coutinho stays at the Nou Camp next summer. 

Bartomeu told reporters: “Coutinho can stay here, if Koeman wants him.” 

The Brazilian forward, who has been on loan at Bayern for the season, has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates. 

Arsenal are believed to be keen to sign him on loan with an option to buy, but only if the Catalans subsidise his wages.  

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Friday’s 8-2 thumping at the hands of Bayern left speculation over Lionel Messi’s future, with rumours suggesting he handed in a transfer request. 

But Bartomeu insisted that Koeman wants the Argentine to stay and be a big part of his plans for next season.  

He said: “Koeman will be the new manager and he told me that Messi is a key player for our new project. 

“He has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.  

 

“He is number one in the world.  

“There is no doubt that in Koeman’s new project you can count on Messi.’ 

“[Dembele] will stay. Messi, [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen, [Christian] Lenglet, [Nelson] Semedo, [Frenkie] De Jong, [Antoine] Griezmann and [Ousmane] Dembele are not for sale.  

“We have offers for Ansu Fati but he is not for sale.” 

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