Brazilian great Rivaldo has advised Philippe Coutinho to focus on reviving his career and proving himself in Spain and snub a potential return to Liverpool.
Coutinho has failed to live up to expectations following his £142m move to Catalonia 18 months ago and his future at the Camp Nou now looks even less certain following the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian claimed last week that Barcelona had no intention of selling the playmaker and Rivaldo believes that they should stick with and support the player till he comes back to his best.
The 27-year-old continues to be linked with a return to Anfield, however, but Rivaldo feels such a move would put more pressure on Coutinho.
"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," he told Betfair.
Rivaldo: "The chance Coutinho returning to Liverpool could be beneficial for him, but I'm not sure if he is thinking of going back to England. He might stay in Barcelona to raise his game. If he goes to Liverpool, that will add more pressure for him."— WeTalkBarca (@WeTalkBarca) July 18, 2019
He continued, "The chance of a return to Liverpool could be beneficial for him (Coutinho), 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."
Revealing that the Copa America win could hand Coutinho some much needed confidence to perform for Barcelona, Rivaldo claimed, "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."
Talking about why Liverpool move could pile more pressure on Coutinho, Rivaldo concluded, "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."