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FC Barcelona could bench Philippe Coutinho indefinitely to avoid paying Liverpool

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It’s not a great situation for the former Bayern loanee to be in. Hopefully something works out for former Bayern Munich player Philippe Coutinho.

FC Barcelona v SD Eibar - La Liga Santander Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho suffered an injury during FC Barcelona’s last game of 2020, which was a 1-1 draw with Eibar, but it now looks like the Brazilian will be faced with another challenge.

Per a new report from Football Espana, Barcelona is seriously considering not playing Coutinho even once he returns from injury so that the club doesn’t wind up triggering a “games played” clause that would pay Liverpool €5 million.

FC Barcelona v SD Eibar - La Liga Santander
Philippe Coutinho might have to spend the majority of the rest of this season on the bench so FC Barcelona does not have to pay Liverpool a bonus.
Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to the report, there is a clause in Coutinho’s current contract at Barcelona that says the club is required to pay Liverpool if he winds up playing a certain amount of games for Barcelona. He’s already played 14 times this season, but it is not specified in the report exactly how many matches he would have to play to meet the conditions of the contract clause. It also hasn’t helped Coutinho’s case that in his injury absence, Pedri has slotted into his spot and has performed well.

The Brazilian international is slated to mark his return from injury at some point in March, but Ronald Koeman might have his hands tied in terms of selecting him. The club’s front office will likely urge Koeman not to play Coutinho in hopes of avoiding a payment to Liverpool.

Unfortunately for Coutinho, Barcelona has to do everything in their power to save money before trying to offload him this summer.