Philippe Coutinho: Barcelona 'willing to take loss' says pundit
Liverpool could be set to miss out on an £18million pay day after Barcelona confirmed Philippe Coutinho will require knee surgery. Coutinho was forced off in injury time of Tuesday night’s game with Eibar after damaging his left knee.
The Brazilian had started the La Liga contest on the bench before coming on in the 66th minute.
Barcelona’s statement read: “The tests carried out on the first team player Philippe Coutinho have shown that the midfielder has an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee.
“Treatment will necessitate arthroscopic surgery which will take place in the coming days.”
Coutinho joins a growing injury list which already includes Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto and Ansu Fati.
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The news is not only bad for Barcelona but also his former club Liverpool.
The Brazilian became one of the most expensive players of all time in January 2018 when he signed for Barcelona in a deal which is believed to be worth around £142m.
Liverpool were said to have received an initial £106m up front, with the rest being in the shape of add-ons.
Spanish publication El Periodico claimed one of the bonus clauses involved would see the La Liga outfit pay an extra £18m once Coutinho had made 100 competitive appearances for Barcelona.
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The 1-1 draw with Eibar was his 90th, meaning Coutinho would only need to feature in another ten games for The Reds to be due a huge windfall.
However, with the 28-year-old set for a spell on the sidelines, there are now serious doubts as to whether he will make a further ten appearances this season.
If Coutinho had been impressive in Catalonia, that wouldn’t have been seen as an issue in terms of Liverpool landing the additional £18m as they would have in all likelihood received it during the 2021/22 campaign.
However, the former Inter Milan midfielder has struggled to impress since his big money move and spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich.
It had been hoped Coutinho might have been reinvigorated under Ronald Koeman this season. But he has only scored three goals in 14 outings in all competitions this season and it was already widely reported Barcelona would be looking to offload the midfielder in the summer, if not January.
Barcelona are looking to sell some of their assets in the coming transfer windows after they were forced to make cuts to their budget by La Liga.
The league imposed a lower salary cap on Barcelona in November due to the chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was widely reported recently that Coutinho had been offered to Tottenham and Arsenal, while in the summer Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester City were among the other clubs said to have been interested.
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