Barcelona fans jeered Philippe Coutinho once again as the Brazilian struggled in the 3-1 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
The former Liverpool man has been in and out of Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven this term and has struggled to a large extent, scoring just four goals and assisting twice.
Pressure has firmly be on Coutinho, who has been criticised in Spanish media and by the club’s fans for ‘a lack of workrate’ and failing to gel with fellow attackers Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Hauled off against Valladolid at the weekend and replaced by preferred option Ousmane Dembele – Coutinho was jeered when leaving the pitch, whilst Dembele received a good ovation.
That has once again led to various rumours on Sunday which link Coutinho with a return to England, where he flourished for Liverpool.
Manchester United are said to be keen as Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer looks to build on his recent successes.
Following the jeers at the Camp Nou on Saturday, fellow team-mate Gerard Pique, who scored in the win, has come out to defend the attacker
“Philippe is having a good season. Obviously his cost was very high so that means there are more expectations of his performance level. It is what it is.
“We have to accept the reaction of the fans because they are our followers but from the inside, we have to give him our support. We need him at his best for the end of the season and I’m sure he will be.”
Pique’s goal cancelled out a surprise opener from on-loan Real Madrid player Raul de Tomas, before Messi and Suarez both got amongst the goals.