Philippe Coutinho has admitted his future may lie away from Barcelona after starring and scoring in a 5-1 victory over Lyon in the Champions League last 16.
Coutinho doubled the lead on Wednesday after Lionel Messi opened the scoring at Camp Nou as Barca reached the quarter-finals following a scoreless first leg away to Lyon last month.
The Brazilian playmaker finished a slick move involving compatriot Arthur and former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez just after the half-hour mark as Messi’s double, and goals from Gerard Pique and substitute Ousmane Dembele clinched a resounding victory.
Coutinho has struggled for form and consistency since his €142-million (£121m/$161m) arrival from Liverpool in January last year, prompting speculation of a move away and a return to the Premier League.
The Brazil international admitted his form has been below his own expectations as he refused to rule out an exit from the La Liga champions.
‘In the last few weeks, months even, I’ve not been playing well, but I still want to improve,’ Coutinho said.
‘I came to Barcelona to give my best. I live for the moment. You never know what the future holds. I am happy with my performance today.’
Coutinho has scored nine goals in all competitions this season – four of those coming in La Liga for the league leaders.
After seeing his most recent strikes come in European action, his performance was hailed by Ernesto Valverde.
The Barcelona boss has struggled to bring the best out of a creative influence at times, but saw the 26-year-old impress as Lyon were swept aside with the minimum of fuss.
Valverde said: ‘It was an important game for him [Coutinho], as it was for everyone, our club and our team.
‘I think he had a great game. It is true, maybe this year he’s had some not-great matches, but in some specific times he did well, he scored two goals against Sevilla.
‘So, we expect him to get more confidence in order to give us his best. We are happy for him.’
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