Per Sport, FC Barcelona is on a mission to cut its payroll and sell-off any player not in its immediate plans for next season. One of those assets about to be put up for sale is former Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho, who is both injured and at the center of a bonus controversy, is a player that Barca allegedly thinks it will be able to offload, but this is a buyer’s market and the Catalan club might not be too happy with the offers it might receive:
One of the major issues facing president-elect Joan Laporta is Philippe Coutinho’s future. The objective is to save on his salary and, if possible, achieve a sale that would allow them to settle their debt to Liverpool (which is now with a third party company).
Barça and his agent looked for a move back to the Premier League last summer. There was contact with various clubs but Chelsea — the most interested — ruled out a deal in the end.
Barça need to sign a top No.9 and must sell to manage that. No.1 on the list is Coutinho, who could boost his value with a good Copa America in the summer with Brazil.
Barca manager Ronald Koeman reportedly wanted to keep Coutinho, but there does not appear to be anything that might convince the club to retain the 28-year-old aside of “a return to fitness and a spectacular end to the campaign.”
Coutinho reportedly makes about €13 million per season, which places him behind only Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann on Barca’s payroll. Clearly, if the club is committed to tryin to fix its finances — and bring in a world class No.9, a sale of Coutinho is one of its best possible options.