Philippe Coutinho could be prevented from playing for Barcelona again even if he cannot be sold this summer.
Barcelona appear keen to offload Coutinho as they look to reduce their wage bill to the point where they can register a new contract for Lionel Messi, as well as their four new signings.
Currently over their La Liga wage cap, Barca can only spend 25% of what they earn, leaving them in a difficult position unless high-profile players can be sold this summer.
Along with Antoine Griezmann, Coutinho is one of those players who could be moved on having struggled since his €135million move from Liverpool in 2018.
Since his arrival, Coutinho has done his best work out on loan with Bayern Munich, winning the Champions League with the Bundesliga giants.
And Barca now find themselves desperate to get rid as Coutinho recovers from a serious knee injury.
The problem the Blaugrana face is that they are guaranteed to lose a huge amount of money on the Brazilian, who is now valued at just €30million by Transfermarkt.
And even if Barca took the huge loss, it’s going to prove difficult for them to find a club who will pay his €20million per year salary.
But if Barcelona cannot sell the Coutinho, they may be forced to freeze him out of the squad altogether.
That’s because, as explained by Diario AS, Coutinho is 10 appearances away from activating a clause that would mean Barcelona would have to pay Liverpool another €20million, a cost they could do without in their current predicament.
And with a €50million charge to cancel the midfielder’s contract altogether – barring some sort of mutual agreement to reduce that cost – Barca’s only option is to search for a buyer with the hope the 29-year-old is willing to take a reduced salary elsewhere.
Had it not been for that extra fee due to Liverpool, Barcelona could have played the patient game with Coutinho, attempted to reduce his contract, as they are in the process of doing with other senior players, and given him the chance to finally prove himself.
But given the grave financial situation at Camp Nou, they are very likely to do everything in their power to avoid paying that extra fee due to Liverpool if Coutinho reaches 100 games in a Barca shirt.