Brazil manager tells Coutinho to 'go where he feels happy' as Barcelona hopes fade
Liverpool playmaker has been the subject of three unsuccessful bids from the Primera Liga giants.
Brazil manager Tite has told Philippe Coutinho to play "wherever he feels happy" as the Liverpool midfielder continues to be pursued by Barcelona.
Coutinho, 25, emerged as a key transfer target for Barca following the world record departure of Brazilian forward Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. The Primera Liga giants have so far failed in their attempts to lure Coutinho to the Camp Nou having seen three bids rejected for the midfielder, the latest reported to be valued at €140 million (Dh609.4m).
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Liverpool have insisted that Coutinho will remain at the club, and with the summer transfer window closing on Thursday, it seems unlikely Barca will land their top target.
Coutinho is currently on international duty with Brazil preparing for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ecuador, and his national team manager has offered his advice to the playmaker.
"I told him (Coutinho) that I want him to go wherever he feels happy," Tite told a press conference ahead of Thursday's qualifier in Porto Alegre.
Coutinho has not played for Liverpool this season due to a back injury but Tite has defended his decision to call him up to international duty.
"The Brazilian team doctor has spoken to Liverpool's doctor and our director with their directors. I haven't been in touch because I don't speak English," he said, adding that Coutinho would not play against Ecuador.
"We are not going to take any risks but, on the other hand, we are not going to do without him in the squad."
Tite also admitted that the looming transfer deadline has affected his side's preparations for their World Cup qualifier.
"It affects us and it will continue affecting us until the end," said Tite, whose side have already qualified for the World Cup finals.
"It effects the players emotionally. It also affects the coach, who has to take into consideration situations which are nothing to do with the field of play."
Updated: August 31, 2017 03:25 PM