Barcelona legend Rivaldo has claimed that Philippe Coutinho could still have a future at the club when he returns from his loan spell at Bayern Munich.
Coutinho has spent the 2019-20 campaign with Bayern, but the German outfit are not expected to make the deal permanent, raising questions over his long-term future beyond the end of the current season.
The 27-year-old has been tipped to move back to the Premier League, with Chelsea, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Everton among the clubs linked, but Rivaldo believes that his compatriot could still prove himself at Camp Nou.
"When things are not going according to the script, they really tend to get tougher and tougher. And I believe that Philippe Coutinho is feeling that at the moment, after sustaining an injury that will keep him off the pitch for at least a month and a half," Rivaldo told Betfair.
"After a bad spell at Barcelona, and a modest season at Bayern Munich, he could still have a few games right at the end of this campaign to prove his value and show his talents to clubs that might be interested in signing him. Or he could even try to convince Barcelona they should keep him in the squad for next season. I still believe Coutinho has the quality to succeed. But sometimes football is tough and volatile.
"The misfortune you might have at one moment can be overcome, so Coutinho must keep calm and be confident about the future because he has lots of quality to shine at any club. This is a delicate moment for him, and he must stay positive that things will turn for the better soon.
"Chelsea are the favourites to sign Coutinho and I don't believe they will be put off by his recent injury. After all, next season is still very distant and he will have enough time to a completely recover. On the other hand, if the transfer doesn't go forward and he stays at Barcelona, perhaps a salary reduction, based on the player's decision, could earn plaudits from the club's board and maybe let him show that he is eager to remain at the club and finally prove his worth.
"Yes, there are many clubs already reducing their players' salaries because of the coronavirus crisis, but if the player takes a step forward in that themselves it would be seen as the attitude of someone interested in remaining at the club. Much could happen before next season and we can only wait for the next chapters of this story."
Coutinho has scored nine goals and assisted eight in 32 appearances for Bayern across all competitions.