Coutinho unsure of his Barca future

first_imgPhilippe Coutinho says he is unsure where he will be playing next season as speculation continues to mount over his Barcelona future.The Brazil international had an underwhelming first full campaign at Camp Nou, contributing five LaLiga goals and two assists.Coutinho acknowledged earlier this week he needs to improve to justify his hefty price tag, with Barcelona paying a fee that could rise to £142 million to sign him from Liverpool in January 2018. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be interested in the 27-year-old, but he is keeping his attention on helping Brazil to Copa America glory on home soil.”I do not know. The future, nobody knows,” Coutinho told reporters when asked if he will leave Barcelona.”I am focused to play with the national team now.”Coutinho scored twice in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Bolivia in their opening Copa America match, but he could not inspire his side in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Venezuela.The midfielder has admitted that he did not play as well as expected for Barcelona in 2018-19, saying last week: “I had a tough time on the field because I have not performed as expected, but football is like that and I’m working hard to improve.”As well as links to United and PSG, there has also been talk of a potential return to Liverpool.And Reds legend Jamie Carragher believes Coutinho would be welcomed back at Anfield with open arms if he wanted to return.“I wouldn’t say I would be actively going to get him, but if there was a possibility of bringing Coutinho back for decent money, and Barca wanted to cut their losses a little bit because it hasn’t worked out, then I’d do that,” he said last month.Meanwhile, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner believes the player likely regrets leaving Anfield in the first place.“We tried to convince him that we had the club moving in the right direction and that he could experience big Champions League occasions by staying at Liverpool,” he said. “I think he probably regrets his decision.”last_img read more

Southern commuters endure new travel chaos as workers begin 48hour strike

first_imgAlex Foulds, Southern passenger services’ director, said the two-day strike would “achieve nothing”.”Passengers will be rightly dismayed that the RMT has chosen to disrupt services yet again,” he said. “After many months of trying to reach agreement with the RMT, we are now moving forward with our plans for the benefit of customers and we urge the RMT to join us in putting passengers first.”We have guaranteed all our on-board staff a job until the end of the franchise, with no reduction in salary. Our plans are safe, and will mean fewer cancelled trains. We are sorry that our passengers will once again suffer because of RMT intransigence, and we urge the union to work with us to find a sensible way forward.” The industrial action centres on the role of guards on Southern trainsCredit:Carl Court /Getty A Southern Rail employee hands out flyers as she takes part in a strike against company working practices Campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts said they believe Southern risks “taking a significant retrograde step” if it starts a driver-only operation.A spokesman said: “We believe that if a train runs driver-only operation to an unstaffed station with a passenger who is unable to exit the train unassisted, then an offence will be committed under the Equality Act 2010.”After 30 years of commitment, effort and public expenditure to ensure that disabled people can travel by train, as by other modes, with confidence, we risk taking a significant retrograde step that will effectively deny people those hard-won rights. That is simply unacceptable.” A Southern Rail employee hands out flyers as she takes part in a strike against company working practicesCredit:Carl Court/Getty The industrial action centres on the role of guards on Southern trains A Southern Rail employee erects a banner opposite Victoria station in central London as she takes part in a strikeCredit:Carl Court/Getty Please please please don’t leave me stuck in London today train strikes!!!! 🙏🏽😫 @SouthernRailUK— Louisa Bettine (@LouisaBettine) September 7, 2016 Come on then Southern… Let’s see how long it’ll take me to get to work today then! So pleased I’m off tomorrow #Southernstrike— Graham Lamb (@GrahamLamb82) September 7, 2016 Clapham Junction station in London during rush hour in August amid previous strike actionCredit:Nick Edwardscenter_img Southern strike He added: “RMT remains available for serious talks but GTR clearly have no interest in resolving the dispute and it is also clear that the Government are propping them up financially and politically.”Just a fraction of the £100 million the GTR parent company is hoarding in profits would be enough to keep a guard on the Southern trains, keep the trains safe and accessible and resolve the dispute.”It is absolutely right to call for the Government to intervene and to hold those responsible for this continuing shambles to account.”Mr Cash added: “Reports from all locations this morning confirm that the strike action is rock-solid and determined again across the Southern Rail network as we fight to put rail safety and access before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation.” Mick Cash, RMT general secretary,  said the union supported points raised by the campaigners as they put disabled people “at a substantial disadvantage”. “GTR, hoarding £100 million in profits and soaking up public funds, have ignored these points right from the off,” he said. “That attitude is disgraceful.” Clapham Junction strike Southern said it had put 119 trains back into its temporary weekday timetable, restoring the entire inner London metro service so that almost all London Bridge peak trains are now running, and tripling the number of trains operating on the West London Line.The temporary timetable was introduced with 341 fewer trains on July 11 following “unprecedented” sickness levels among train crew. @SouthernRailUK there goes my train that arrived at the ecr so overcrowded that people were getting pushed out pic.twitter.com/61ZbvUpYa0— Mark Payne (@markstephenpay1) September 7, 2016 Hundreds of commuters are facing travel chaos including delays and cancellations as workers at Southern Railway launched a fresh strike in a long-running row over changes to the role of conductors. Disability campaigners joined a picket line outside London Victoria station as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walked out for 48 hours.More than two out of five trains will be cancelled, while there will be no service on some routes. Many trains will start late and finish early, although Southern plans to run up to 60 per cent of its services during the industrial action.Commuters took to social media on Wednesday morning to complain about the service.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more