Barcelona's big problem with injured Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian is on a big wage and not many clubs would pay a big fee for him

| sport

Barcelona's new executive board must get to work straight away on planning nect season. Movements are already being made on the transfer market but the Blaugrana have been paralysed due to not having a president.

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.

Ronald Koeman, meanwhile, decided that he wanted to keep Coutinho, deeming him an interesting player for his project, but the Brazilian's not taken a step forward and, unfortunately, has now been injured for three months.

Save a return to fitness and a spectacular end to the campaign, the club are going to find it difficult to find a buyer, something which is key in helping the club clean up their finances ahead of next season.

Coutinho is the most expensive signing Barça have ever made. Including variables, the final price could reach 160 million euros, with 50 million still to be paid for him. The idea is to sell for that figure.

In addition, Barça also need to reduce the wage bill. They have made big strides in that sense this season but still need to do more. Coutinho is one of the top earners. Signed as a star, he's on around 13 million euros a year. In fact, only Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann earn more.

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.




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