Barcelona are reportedly prepared to take drastic action and freeze Philippe Coutinho out of their squad for the rest of the season to save £4.3m according to a report in The Daily Star carried by Caught Offside.
A clause in Coutinho’s contract stipulates that when he plays a certain number of games for Barcelona the club have to pay Liverpool, the club they signed him from, as part of the deal. To avoid this, essential for Barcelona given their precarious financial situation, they appear willing to take drastic measures.
The Brazilian was injured during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Eibar at Camp Nou, the Blaugrana’s final game of 2020. Coutinho has played 14 games for Ronald Koeman‘s side so far this season, scoring three goals and contributing two assists.
Coutinho started the season strongly, in fine form after a Champions League-winning loan spell with Bayern Munich last season. He picked up an injury early doors, however, and in his absence Pedri stepped up to the plate, Martin Braithwaite began to play as the central striker and Lionel Messi dropped deeper.
This limited the space available to the Carioca upon his return, and he struggled to assert himself in the manner in which he did in the early part of the season.