Coutinho, mission impossible

The departure of the Brazilian is the most complicated operation that the Barça club has to face this summer. Its market value has plummeted.


Barcelona is sweating ink to lighten the salary mass staff and be able to register both Messi and the four players he hired just after the previous year and who are Kun Agüero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal. The objective is to get rid of players who earn a lot and contribute little, but no case is as difficult as that of Philippe Coutinho.

The process to place the 29-year-old Brazilian in the market is an almost impossible mission that will put the managerial skills of Mateu Alemany, the club's director of football, to the test.

For salary and for what it cost, it is the most expensive signing in the history of Barça, which agreed with Liverpool in the 2018 winter market a transfer worth 120 million euros plus 40 in variables. His exit is a difficult puzzle to solve.

There is no team in the world that can assume its card close to 20 million per season, nor is there any that can pay the approximately 50 million that remain to be amortized from its hiring.

That, not counting the 40 million variables. Of those millions, 20 are ten games away from having to pay, since Barcelona signed with Liverpool who would pay that amount on the day that Coutinho reached 100 games as a player for the Catalan team. At the moment it has 90.

Equal parts luck and misfortune for Barcelona is that Coutinho has not played a game with his club's jersey since last December 30. That prevented the 20 million euros from being paid to the Anfield team last season, but at the same time it has left them in the dry dock without a market to be able to place them, since they have not stepped on a pitch for seven months. If according to the website specialized in the sports market Transfermarkt when he arrived at Barcelona the value of Coutinho was 150 million, now it is at 30.

Coutinho's performance at Barcelona since he arrived has been disappointing. In those 90 games he has played, he has scored 23 goals (only four in the Champions League), playing 5,620 minutes. Two seasons ago he tried his luck at Bayern Munich on loan, but he could not redirect his career either. There is the paradox that with the Bavarian team he scored only three goals in the Champions League, two of them against Barcelona in the humiliating defeat of the Catalans in Lisbon by 2-8.

Currently, Coutinho is in Barcelona training alone to recover from his meniscus injury, already in the final stretch.

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