Prem club on watch, as Barcelona clear-out set to sweep up big-name star
Philippe Coutinho is set to be involved in a summer clear out at Barcelona this summer, with a number of players preparing to leave the Catalonian outfit, according to reports.
The Brazilian midfielder has fallen out of favour at the Nou Camp in recent months and the Daily Star believes Coutinho may well have played his last game for the club, having made 80 appearances for them in three-and-a-half years. As a result, Club President, Joan Laporta is looking to re-gain a portion of his hefty €105million price tag.
Despite capturing a record 31st Copa Del Rey title earlier this season, Barcelona have produced yet another lacklustre league campaign – finishing in third place behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, as they failed to capture La Liga for a second successive season.
In addition, the club’s European shortcomings were further exposed, as they fell to a 5-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of PSG in the Champions League Round of 16, marking six years since they last won the trophy.
Coutinho’s most notable display in the competition since his switch from Merseyside came in a Barcelona defeat during his loan spell at Bayern Munich.
The 28-year-old scored two goals for the Bundesliga giants as they decimated the Catalonian outfit 8-2, en route to capturing the crown – a fitting summary of his short career at the Nou Camp.
Laporta also looks set to offload a number of other players this summer in a hefty squad revamp.
Martin Braithwaite, Chelsea-linked Miralem Pjanic, Neto and Junior Firpo are also rumoured to be leaving the club.
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It is understood that the Barcelona president is preparing to do all in his power to keep Lionel Messi in Catalonia and is willing to sell a number of players to do so.
A likely destination for Coutinho this summer is a sensational switch back to the Premier League, with a number of suitors rumoured to be vying for his signature.
Potential clubs for Coutinho
One club said to be monitoring the midfielders situation is Everton, with Spanish outfit TodoFichajes reporting that Carlo Ancelotti is preparing a loan-to-buy offer for Coutinho, as he plans to replace the unsettled James Rodriguez.
It is understood that the 28-year-old relishes the prospect of a return to Merseyside, with the Toffees hoping to utilise their close relationship with Barcelona to get the deal done.
Arsenal are another club who have expressed interest in Coutinho in recent months, with journalist Fabrizio Romano reporting that the Gunners came close to signing the midfielder last summer.
As reported by Spanish outlet Sport, via the Daily Express, Mikel Arteta would be ‘crazy’ not to sign Coutinho, should Martin Odegaard depart from his Emirates loan spell.