Barcelona is reportedly preparing to make a hefty dent in the €222 million received for Neymar’s world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Catalonians are putting the necessary paperwork together to lodge a fourth approach for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, The Sun’s Charlie Wyett understands, with the offer comprising of £100 million up front, plus another £36 million potentially following in add-ons.
Wyett’s numbers are slightly lower than those suggested by Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol, who anticipates a deal worth £138 million after add-ons.
Both journalists are in agreement that the additional payments relate to participation in the Champions League. Wyett states they will be paid in increments of £9 million each time Barcelona qualifies for the European showpiece over the next four seasons. Despite many declaring Barcelona is in crisis due to the thinning resources in Ernesto Valverde’s squad, continued appearances in the Champions League for the Blaugrana are almost assured.
A grab for Coutinho would represent the first huge scoop into the club coffers since Neymar’s exit. Midfielder Paulinho, 29, was acquired from the Chinese Super League’s Guangzhou Evergrande using just €40 million of the €222 million, and the pursuit for Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele is ongoing.
While Coutinho is in the middle of a summer soap opera, he’s been tending to mysterious ailments that have left him out of commission for Liverpool. He was initially declared to be suffering a back issue, but is now apparently dealing with an illness as Wednesday’s second leg of a Champions League play-off with Hoffenheim and a weekend wrangle with Arsenal loom.
“If Phil would start tomorrow he can’t because on top of the back he is now ill,” manager Jurgen Klopp told reporters Tuesday.
Klopp added that relations between himself and the Brazilian forward were positive, and that he would “100 percent” welcome him back to training at Melwood.