Barcelona are ready to receive offers for Philippe Coutinho if they are offered a bid upwards of €80m.
Philippe Coutinho shone for Brazil in the 2018 World Cup and is one of the best attacking midfielders currently. But he is clearly struggling at Barcelona. Coutinho has been in and out of the starting lineup this season and he was even booed by his own supporters during a 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano. He seems unhappy at the Catalan club. The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a summer move away from Barcelona and PSG looks like his most realistic destination, though Manchester United are also interested in him.
“Barcelona do not have a firm offer from any club at this point, but some have expressed an interest in the player,” a source at the club told ESPN FC. “Key people, who are either directly or indirectly linked with various clubs have been following the situation closely.”
Manchester United have been heavily linked with the Brazilian, while a return to Liverpool has also been reported in some quarters. But a switch to the Premier League is not currently a realistic option for Coutinho.
The Ligue 1 club are the only European giant outside of England’s top-flight that have the financial means to afford the player’s wages. He is worth €2.3 million a month before tax. The opportunity to team up with his international teammates Neymar, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos is also likely to appeal to him for joining PSG.
The other European giants, Juventus have already signed Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal. Bayern Munich also have negotiated with Real Madrid for buying James Rodriguez. And a move to Real Madrid seems very unlikely. So Coutinho’s most realistic destination is PSG.
Barcelona had signed Coutinho from Liverpool for €120m in January 2018, but are willing to sell him for a significant loss at €80m upwards. He was expected to replace Neymar and form a formidable attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. But his career has not gone according to the plan. This season he has made just 16 starts and 10 substitute appearances in the league and he hasn’t completed a full 90 minutes since January.
Coutinho is determined to stay at Barcelona and revive his playing career. But this option doesn’t seem likely. He has failed to convince Ernesto Valverde that he should be a first-team regular starting every week and thus is set to consider his future once again in the summer.
Despite his issues on the pitch, it is understood Coutinho is considered a popular member of the team. “He is generally a very happy player who enjoys training, but when he goes onto the pitch, something happens and it doesn’t go well,” the ESPN source added. “He has more than enough quality to be a starter and we hope he regains his confidence.”
The fact is, though, that if he doesn’t get more playing time in the starting XI and is unable to make a significant impact before the end of the season, he is likely to find himself in a position where he will be moved out of Camp Nou, with PSG his most likely destination.
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