Ernesto Valverde has maintained that Philippe Coutinho still has a future at Barcelona, amid speculation the Brazil international might join Manchester United.
Coutinho has found first-team football hard to come by recently and has time and again found himself warming the bench.
The former Liverpool man hasn't started a league match since early December and has only played 62 minutes of football since his last start.
The Brazilian's recent stint on the bench has largely been down to a resurgence in form from Ousmane Dembele, who has scored nine times and picked three assists in his last nine games.
According to Express.co.uk, the Barcelona boss has appeared to dismiss rumours the playmaker may possibly leave Catalunya by suggesting that he plans on playing him alongside Dembele in the near future.
“He and Dembele can play together, it is a possibility, Valverde said.
“If I go through the games they played together, they did it in Milan or against PSV.
Valverde has insisted Coutinho's time on the bench isn't the result of a rift with the midfielder, saying: “Over the season the games come thick and fast and in some games, you aren't so lucky.
“Coutinho has played some great games with us and we hope he will continue to do so.”
Valverde's sentiment was only just echoed by Barcelona's sporting director Guillermo Amor, who has backed the former Inter Milan man to start justifying his £144m price tag in the near future.
“Coutinho's a player with a lot of experience, one of the best players in Europe and he is ready to play [for] five minutes or 90 minutes,” Amor told Movistar.
“He's a player that thinks more about the team than himself and there are no doubts about him being one of the best players in the world. He's always played well for Barca, he could play [every game] from the off.”
“Barca signed him because he's one of the best in the world and he's going to give us a lot.
“He's got many years left on his contract and a lot to give to Barcelona.”
Barcelona face Eibar on Sunday afternoon in Nou Camp.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago