Throughout yesterday we brought you reports from Spain regarding Aston Villa tying up a permanent deal for Philippe Coutinho.
As you’ll know, the Brazilian midfielder has been on loan with Steven Gerrard’s side since January and has been a hit, shining under his former Liverpool colleague and seemingly getting his career back on track.
They had an option to make the move a permanent one for €40m in the summer but seem to have managed to avoid that, instead doing a deal with Barcelona for €20m.
That’s a significant reduction and a major victory for Aston Villa, something Catalan newspaper Sport look to take the shine off today.
They cover the imminent transfer, and rather than presenting it as a major victory for Aston Villa; they’re keen to point out how happy Barcelona are.
The newspaper explains that while they couldn’t get €40m, the feeling at the Camp Nou ‘is of relief because they have one problem less’ to deal with.
They detail how Joan Laporta’s decision to devalue five players, including Coutinho, had led to the club’s losses swelling last year thanks to outstanding amortisations.
That, though, meant that future transfers could be recorded as fully net incomes, thus Barcelona’s agreement to sell Coutinho for €20m.
His annual amortisation is €30m, and with a year left on his deal at the club, it is already a loss on the books, so everything they receive will ‘practically be a profit’ in the 2021-22 financial year given the deal is finalised before June 30th.
On a cash level, the €20m from the sale to Aston Villa will be a direct income, and there will only be a ‘small loss’ on the club’s income statement. In other words, Barcelona have worked out how to make a €20m sale look good on the books.
Thus there is a sense of ‘relief’ as they have managed to get rid of one of their bigger problems, particularly as Coutinho was earning €13.5m a year at the club and was not in Xavi’s plans.
His departure, therefore, frees up space on several fronts so that Barcelona can focus on incomings in the summer transfer window.
In other words, Barcelona aren’t as disappointed as you’d think and in fact are mighty relieved to have gotten what they did. We’ll leave you to decide if that’s really the case, though.