Barça streamline the process so that Coutinho can gain EU citizenship

Coutinho's agent, Kia Joorabchian, was captured arriving at the Barcelona airport and later met with Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jordi Mestre

El golazo de Coutinho que dio la victoria al FC Barcelona frente a la Real Sociedad en el último partido de liga | LALIGA

Xavi Canals

Philippe Coutinho's agent, Kia Joorabchian, was captured arriving at Barcelona airport yesterday. The Iranian agent came over to meet with Barcelona's president, Josep Maria Bartomeu and the club's vice president, Jordi Mestre.

They were a lot of topics to discuss as Joorabchian has been one of the agents who Barcelona have worked with in order to bring in big stars. The last of which was Coutinho in January. And it was the Brazilian who was one of the main talking points at this meeting.

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

Barça reiterated the importance to Joorabchian of starting the process of getting Coutinho a European passport as quickly as possible. This process is possible due to his wife, Anie, holding a Portuguese passport. Legislation in Spain allows you to aquire the nationality of your partner if the marriage has lasted over three years.

Coutinho and his wife will be married six years in December and this is why the Brazilian qualifies to apply for a Portuguese passport and, as such, remove his non-EU status in the squad.

This is the same process that Luis Suarez completed as his wife, Sofia Balbin, holds an Italian passport so the striker was able to acquire European citizenship.

Barcelona insisted that Joorabchian move as quickly as possible to order to get Coutinho his European passport as this would free up another non-EU spot in the squad for next season.

Freeing up an extra squad place would allow Arthur to bring forward his move to the Camp Nou six months early.

mahrez is an option

Following Andres Iniesta's move to Japan and the 'no' from Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona are looking for key additions to the squad in the transfer market.

The club knows it needs to make a significant move in this window and are studying all of the options which present themselves. One of those could be Riyad Mahrez. The French man, of Algerian origin, has been on Barcelona's wishlist for two seasons now but they've never entered negotiations with Leicester City for his services.

It appeared as if Manchester City had agreed a €75m deal for Mahrez but the deal has now stalled and Barcelona could enquire in order to find out the winger's status.

Mahrez has a style which could fit in perfectly just behind the main forwards, a position which makes Barcelona stand out from the rest.


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