Cash-strapped Barca put Coutinho blinkers on amid looming Liverpool debt

Date published: Thursday 11th February 2021 10:13 - Jonny Whitfield

Philippe Coutinho Barcelona

Barcelona could opt not to play Philippe Coutinho again this season to avoid another payment to Liverpool for his 2018 sale, according to a report.

Coutinho left Anfield for Spain in a £142million deal, one of the most expensive transfers of all time.

However, the deal included a raft of payments based on the Brazilian‘s potential achievements at Barca.

Indeed, the LaLiga giants paid Liverpool £4.5million in August after Coutinho won the Champions League (via the Daily Mirror). Despite earning his winners’ medal as a loanee at Bayern, the clause was player, not club-specific.

According to Spanish journalist Javi Miguel, another such payment is on the horizon.

The reporter claims (via Twitter) that Barca will have to pay Liverpool €5million (£4.3million) if he plays another seven games, as per an appearance clause in his contract.

Such a payment would not aid Barcelona’s dire financial situation, as outlined by the Daily Mail.

The newspaper relays the club’s financial reports, which state that Ronald Koeman’s club owe £112million to 19 clubs for past transfers.

But unsurprisingly, Liverpool top the list, with Barca still owing the Anfield outfit nearly £25million for Coutinho.

What’s more, the club have asked major banks to defer debt repayments so as to avoid potential insolvency.

Barcelona also supposedly have a negative working capital of £535million, with £89million also being owed to other lenders.

Coutinho absence good for Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho Cadiz v Barcelona

Therefore, the LaLiga side want to avoid another €5million leaving their accounts if at all possible.

Coutinho is currently recovering from a knee injury he picked up in December. The issue required surgery to correct, but he has been pictured training on his own at the club’s complex recently.

Should he return to full fitness before the end of the season, though, Barcelona could deny him game time, with their financial woes taking priority over his career development.

In any case, Liverpool used Coutinho’s sale to bring in Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, two players who have helped the Reds claim Champions League and Premier League glory in recent seasons.

READ MORE: Tribunal orders Liverpool to pay Fulham record fee for Harvey Elliott

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