Barcelona are prepared to sell both Ousmane Dembele and Phillipe Coutinho – their two record transfers this summer – in order to raise funds.
That is according to a report in The Telegraph, which claims both attacking stars will be offered to European clubs either as straight-up cash deals or as a makeweight in a player arriving at the Camp Nou.
A report in El Mundo Deportivo earlier this month said the Blaugrana would only sell Dembele for a ‘golden offer’ but Diario AS claimed that many at the Catalan giants had run out of patience with the French forward while Diario Sport said Liverpool held an interest in the player.
Dembele’s alleged lack of discipline with his diet away from training is believed to be leading to him sustaining multiple injuries at the Camp Nou having never previously suffered them.
The France international – who has been plagued by injuries since moving to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2017 – pulled up in the 25th minute of the clash against his former club Borussia Dortmund in late November and has not featured since.
Tests had confirmed Dembele had sustained a muscle injury in his right thigh and the 22-year-old was set to be out for a minimum of two months, and despite returning to first-team training he suffered a fresh setback and will be out until August at the earliest.
Dembele has played only three full matches for the Spanish champions this season and also had to sit out earlier in the campaign due to a separate thigh injury.
It has been the forward’s worst season in terms of injuries at Barça – the player has played nine games out of a possible 37, 492 minutes out of 3,330 possible (14.77%).
Earlier this month, a report in Diario Sport claimed that the Catalan club and Chelsea were locked in negotiations for a loan deal for Coutinho with a compulsory purchase option included.
Representatives of Chelsea have reportedly contacted the player’s agents regarding a transfer this year and the Blues hope to pounce on the indecision over the Brazilian’s future.
Bayern Munich – where Coutinho is currently on loan – have an option to buy the Brazil international for €120m at the end of the campaign but multiple reports suggest this will not be exercised.
Barcelona are said to be keen on selling the former Liverpool star this year to raise vital funds, while the player is said to have little interest in returning to Inter or joining Paris Saint-Germain and instead is keen on a move to England.
Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and even Leicester City are all said to hold an interest for Coutinho, but Chelsea are ahead of them all in their intentions.
The good relationship between the Europa League holders and Coutinho’s representative, Kia Joorabchian, is said to be key.
A report in El Mundo Deportivo last month claimed the Catalan giants have lowered their asking price for the playmaker to €80m as they look to balance their books.
Coutinho has netted eight goals and provided multiple assists in 15 league starts for the Bavarian club, while the recent report stresses the good relations between the two clubs which could help smooth a permanent move this year.
The Brazilian scored 21 goals in 76 outings for Barcelona after moving in a club record €160m fee from Liverpool in January 2018.