Philippe Coutinho apparently wants to leave Barcelona after failing to settle and join Manchester United. The Brazilian has reportedly spoken to Man Utd players about the possibility of a £100m move to Old Trafford. He wants to return to the Premier League and United is his favoured destination.
Lionel Messi moved past Andres Iniesta in the list of all-time appearances for Barcelona on Saturday. The Argentine made his 443th appearance for the club against Rayo Vallecano, the only person who has more is Xavi on 505.
Ernesto Valverde took time out to praise Arturo Vidal for his performance against Rayo Vallecano. The midfielder took Ivan Rakitic’s place in the starting XI and showed “incredible heart” to “keep us going at times.”
Nelson Semedo says Philippe Coutinho is going through a phase and Barcelona players will try to help him out of it. He said: “We try to help him. He’s going through a phase that we all go through. He continues to work in every training session, he gives his all and we have to help.”
Gerard Pique says Barcelona found it tough against Rayo Vallecano because of their impending Champions League clash against Lyon. He said: “We have had a tough run of games and in theory this was a more manageable one. But with the game on Wednesday ahead of is, it was complicated to play, as happened to us also last year. Now, Wednesday’s game has our full attention. I’m feeling good. It’s all about runs [of form], some are better than others, but the team also helps.”
Diego Simeone’s Atletico remain in second place in La Liga and their boss has spoken about his team’s pursuit of Barcelona. He said: “Barcelona, since December, have been having a typical Barcelona season – always winning. We have to continue on our path, in our way, with the aim to improve. That’s what motivates us each week. It’s not easy to always win and we are competing well with fantastic players who play in various positions during a match.”