Barcelona have performed a stunning U-turn with regards to the futures of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho. The forward and the midfielder were expected to leave the club this summer, but the Catalan outfit has now decided to retain the duo unless interested suitors make an offer that is too good to turn down.
Griezmann, who is Barcelona's highest earner at the moment, was expected to make way to help the club slash their wage bill and re-sign Lionel Messi. The player was ready to leave, with Atletico Madrid touted as his potential destination, but the two clubs failed to reach an agreement.
Coutinho, on the other hand, missed a big chunk of last season owing to a knee injury that required surgery. He was thought not to be part of manager Ronald Koeman's plans, with the club hierarchy hoping to find him a new home and also get his high wages off their books.
However, according to Spanish publication Marca, the La Liga giants have performed a surprising U-turn and have now decided the two players can remain at the Camp Nou this coming season. Barcelona will not sell them, unless interested clubs match their valuation of Griezmann or Coutinho.
The change of heart over the two potential summer transfers came directly from Koeman. The Dutch manager has been impressed with the duo's contributions and commitment during pre-season despite their uncertain futures and believes they are ready to play a role to help the team get back to their best this season.
Griezmann and Coutinho were both expected to leave the club, with Barcelona facing a massive financial crunch. The former had attracted interest from clubs in England, Italy and reigning La Liga champions Atletico. However, the latter, was not that hot on the market owing to his recent injury record and lack of impact for Barcelona after arriving from Liverpool in 2018.