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Coutinho revels in return to Brazil duty with Neymar and co

Date Posted,August 28, 2017

Philippe Coutinho appears to be revelling in being back with his Brazil team-mates in images that could delight or infuriate Liverpool fans.

The star forward hasn’t reported for duty with the Reds this campaign after suffering a back injury, which speculation raged about his likely move to Barcelona.

The Catalans have had three bids for Coutinho rejected by Liverpool with the latest approaching £120million.

The Anfield club insist he isn’t for sale and Barca are growing impatient having now completed moves for Ousmane Dembele and Paulinho.

But laughing and smiling at training with former Barca ace Neymar, who the club lost in a £199m deal to Paris Saint-Germain, Coutinho appears ready for action.

Philippe Coutinho trains with Brazil on Monday in Porto Alegre (Image: Getty)

While Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly defended the player, saying he’ll be in action when he’s fit, a Brazilian doctor and lifelong pal of Coutinho, Michael Simoni, said his problem was because of “stress”.

Simoni said: “Coutinho back problem? He is okay now. The back problem was a matter of stress, it was something emotional.

“The uncertainty about his future led him to feeling stressed. Everything is solved now.

“Coutinho and I are friends since years, I always treat his medical cases. All he needed was someone to give him a pep talk.”

New Barca signing Paulinho embraces Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus (Image: Getty)
Brazil during training session at the Gremio base in Porto Alegre (Image: Getty)
Brazil prepre for their clash with Ecuador (Image: REUTERS)

Coutinho hasn’t trained with his Liverpool teammates since complaining about a back injury after their friendly with Bayern Munich at the beginning of the month.

But the former Inter Milan ace is set to face Ecuador with his international team, as originally reported by the Liverpool Echo.

Coutinho linked up with the Brazil squad in Porto Alegre on Monday where he was assessed by their medical staff.

Former Barca defender Dani Alves, who’s now at PSG after his move from Juventus (Image: AFP)
Gabriel Jesus shows his skills back home (Image: REUTERS)
PSG’s world record signing Neymar reports for national team duty (Image: AFP)

Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar added: “From a medical point of view, Philippe is in the perfect condition to play.”

Coutinho is likely to start against Ecuador in the early hours of Friday morning. Tite’s side also take on Colombia in another World Cup qualifier on September 5.

Jurgen Klopp expected Coutinho to link up with Brazil but indicated that he wouldn’t be fit enough to feature.

Brazil’s PSG connection of Neymar, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos (Image: AFP)
Paulinho shapes up to Renato Augusto, who plays in China (Image: AFP)
Coutinho has been ‘injured’ since August 1 (Image: PA)

“If he goes there and can train, I don’t think he can, but they will decide,” Klopp said.

“It’s in the hands of the specific FA. They make their own decisions.

“Are we always happy with things like that? No, not always in the past. Sometimes players come back after a small injury, go to their national team and play two games. But it’s the same procedure as always.”

Coutinho has joined a host of players in his national team who have completed big moves in the summer.

Coutinho could play against Ecuador (Image: REUTERS)
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Neymar, of course, went to PSG in a record £199m deal.

He joined compatriots Thiago Silva and Dani Alves, who moved in the summer from Juventus.

Paulinho has also made a shock move from China to Barcelona, who are desperately trying to re-inject the talent lost in the Neymar move.

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