Barca claim Coutinho has ‘shown little discipline on and off the field’.
Valverde’s assistant Jon Aspiazu was diplomatic on the situation and insists he is still considered a starter and an important part of his team – but admitted his level had dropped.
“Perhaps he’s not at the level he was last year,” Aspiazu told Gol TV before the game. “Dembele has overtaken him a little bit, but he’s a player we consider to be a starter and he’ll be very important for us for the rest of the season.”
While Valverde himself told Coutinho he had to work hard to change the situation.
“When [Ousmane] Dembele wasn’t playing, everyone was asking about him,” Valverde said after the Levante game.