KEY POINTS

  • Barca's list of non-transferable players include Griezmann
  • Coutinho can stay as well, provided the new coach wants him
  • Ronald Koeman has been named Barca's new manager

Neymar’s return to FC Barcelona looks unlikely after president Josep Bartomeu’s latest statement that also hinted that Philipe Coutinho might not leave the club this summer.

After Barcelona’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich, Quique Setien was sacked as the La Liga side’s head coach, while there were also rumors that captain Lionel Messi wanted to leave the club this summer. The Barcelona board had a meeting Monday, where they decided Ronald Koeman would take over as the club’s manager for the 2020-21 season.

Barcelona bowed out of the 2019-20 season without a trophy. It was for the first time since 2007, the Catalans did not win a single title in a whole campaign. In order to revamp the team for better results in 2020-21, the club has decided to offload several players.

After the board meeting, Bartomeu revealed the names of the players who will not be up for sale in the ongoing summer transfer window. "Messi, Ter Stegen, Lenglet, Semedo, De Jong, Griezmann and Dembele are not for sale. Coutinho can stay here if Koeman wants him," tweeted renowned sports journalist Fabrizio Romano, who is a transfer expert in soccer.

Romano also added that Bartomeu has assured that Barcelona will not entertain Manchester United’s interest for French forward Ousmane Dembele.

Earlier, it was reported Barcelona were planning to offer Griezmann as a swap deal to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) along with $71 million for Neymar. After Bartomeu’s recent statements, Neymar’s return to Nou Camp once again looks unlikely this summer.

Lionel Messi, Neymar Neymar celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring in Barcelona's second-leg win over Arsenal at the Camp Nou. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Coutinho has been linked with Arsenal after his agent Kia Joorabchian claimed that his client is keen on returning to the Premier League.

Coutinho moved from Liverpool FC to Barcelona in the summer of 2018 for $179 million. For the amount the club paid, it expected fireworks from Coutinho, but at the end of the 2018-19 season, the Catalans thought their move had backfired as the Brazilian midfielder managed just 21 goals in 76 competitive appearances.

Ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, Barcelona loaned off Coutinho to Bayern Munich and the deal had an option to buy. Although the player has been impressive in Germany, the Bundesliga champions have decided not to trigger the buyout clause amid the coronavirus pandemic due to the player’s high wage structure and transfer fee.

Coutinho was involved in the final three goals of Bayern Munich in their 8-2 victory over the player’s parent club Barcelona recently in the Champions League’s quarter-final. The 28-year-old provided an assist before scoring a brace as Bayern Munich embarrassed the five-time champions.

According to the soccer website Goal, Bartomeu admitted that they have received offers for their teenage sensation Ansu Fati, but the Spanish player is non-transferable as well. "Some players already know that they are not available. We have received offers. Ansu Fati has a large market but we will not sell him. He is non-transferable," Barca chief added.