The Coutinho problem
Barcelona find themselves in a tough situation regarding midfielder Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian arrived at the Camp Nou after dominating the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp and prior to that Brendan Rodgers.
With the departure of Neymar, much was expected of Coutinho to fill the void left by the PSG-bound attacker. However, a combination of transition time and injuries hampered the attacking midfielder’s start to life in Catalonia.
The situation grew so poor that despite the £100 million + figure which Barcelona paid for him, they were willing to send him out on loan to Bayern Munich last season where he ended up scoring twice against the Blaugrana in the Champions League quarter-final and going on to win the tournament with the German Club.
Bayern Munich’s Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (R) celebrates with Bayern Munich’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final football match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on August 14, 2020. (Photo by Rafael Marchante / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RAFAEL MARCHANTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
He returns to Barca this season but has experienced reoccurring injury problems which, according to reports, are set to persist into the latter stages of this campaign.
Barca want sale
There are a number of additional financial complications surrounding the deal which are presenting as a block to give Coutinho further opportunities at Barcelona to prove himself. According to the latest reports from Spain, Barcelona will due to pay Liverpool another €20 million should Coutinho reach the 100 appearance mark.
This gave some insight as to why Barcelona were so willing to allow the Brazilian to leave last season temporarily because the matches played for Bayern Munich did not count towards the tally which would have closed upon the clause threshold.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – JANUARY 08: New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho is unveiled at Camp Nou on January 8, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The Brazilian player signed from Liverpool, has agreed a deal with the Catalan club until 2023 season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Having returned this season and played a number of games, Coutinho is now just 10 games away from the 100 game threshold. It therefore makes sense that Barcelona want to move on the 28-year old permanently in the summer.
The problem associated with this is that the club will want to get as much of the fee which they paid for the former Liverpool midfielder back. However, according to Spanish outlet Sport the player has a market value of around just 40 million due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Coutinho’s injury record and the ability of sides to sign such players.
Barca may need to swallow their pride and accept a sizeable loss if they want to avoid the Liverpool clause and still make some money in the process.