Barcelona are hoping to sell Philippe Coutinho this summer, so they can finally clear the debt they owe to Liverpool for him.
That’s according to Sport, who say the Catalan giants need big sales this summer to open up liquidity in their finances.
They explain that the new board at the club, headed up by recently elected Joan Laporta, have to ‘get down to work’ as soon as possible and plan for next season.
Movements in the transfer market are already taking place, and one of the ‘hot potatoes’ they need to deal with is Coutinho.
The goal at the club is to save on his wages and, if possible, secure a deal that will allow to pay off the debt they owe to Liverpool.
Barcelona and Coutinho’s agent attempted to send him back to the Premier League last summer, but despite contact with several clubs, of whom Chelsea were the most interested, there was no deal to be done.
Ronald Koeman, therefore, decided to keep him at and believed he could be ‘very useful’ to his project, but the Brazilian has not taken the necessary steps to establish himself at the club long-term.
Indeed, he has been injured and absent for three months, and unless he enjoys a ‘spectacular end to the season’, the club will have a difficult time finding suitors for him.
Doing so, though, is considered ‘urgent’ by Barcelona, as they need to balance the wage bill for next year.
Coutinho was their most expensive signing when he arrived from Liverpool, and Barça still owe several instalments on that deal, which are estimated to be more than €50m.
The idea, then, is to sell Coutinho for somewhere near that amount, even if it meant them taking on losses in the accounting, as it would ‘provide significant liquidity’ in the short term.
In addition, it would also allow them to get Coutinho’s wages, which are around €13m a year and only behind Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi in the pecking order, off the books.
That figure, though, makes even finding a loan deal difficult for them; thus their focus is on getting a permanent sale and clearing significant debt off the books.