Koeman’s Coutinho plan was put in place just hours after Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat

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Philippe Coutinho is staying at Barcelona under the orders of Ronald Koeman.

The Brazil international spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich and scored twice against his parent club during their 8-2 win over the Catalan giants in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 28-year-old is said to have received a call from the former Everton boss before he was officially appointed as Quique Setien’s replacement, which has been confirmed by his agent, Kia Joorabchian.

That news has ended the hopes of Arsenal, who had been linked with a loan deal for the playmaker earlier in the summer.

While on talkSPORT, Joorabchian explained: “Koeman called him right after the Champions League victory with Bayern, the following day, and told him he's very much in his plans and would like him to return.

“He was due to return on September 7 but actually he returned at the beginning of September because he didn't want to lose his momentum and fitness, and he's been training with Barcelona.

“All signs point to the fact Barcelona have changed quite dramatically.

“The way their philosophy of how they wanted to move forward from last year and the players they've brought in, like Coutinho, [Ousmane] Dembele and [Antoine] Griezmann they're all going to be part of the squad this year.”

When asked whether Coutinho felt strange scoring against Barcelona, Joorabchian added: “Well, you've got to do your job and he did his job perfectly, and it's probably the reason why Barcelona want him back so badly.”

That suggests that his goals against Barcelona helped him secure a place in Koeman’s plans for the new season, despite Joorabchian admitting his affection for Arsenal when bringing Willian to north London from Chelsea.

"The fact I'm an Arsenal supporter is not a secret," Joorabchian told Sky Sports.

"I don't have any preference where the players go. I don't try to push someone to one club or another. Everything is a possibility."

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Spanish outlet Sport reported in August that talks between the Gunners and Coutinho were moving to an advanced stage, but the player himself has always been open about his desire to impress in La Liga.

He said after winning the Champions League: “Now I have to go back to Barcelona – I want to work hard to have a great year.

“I don’t know if it will be there [Barcelona] but I want to work hard.”

  • Barcelona FC
  • Arsenal FC
  • Premier League
  • La Liga
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Bayern Munich FC
  • Champions League

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