Barcelona have put an asking price of just £21 million for Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via the Daily Mail).
The Catalans paid a massive amount to sign Coutinho from Liverpool in January 2018. However, after a bright start, the Brazilian international has failed to nail down a starting berth in the two seasons he has spent at the Nou Camp.
Due to Barcelona’s bleak financial situation, the club have been forced to sell their high earners and fringe players to reduce the wage bill. The Spanish giants are ready to take a huge loss of £124 million to free up Coutinho’s wages.
According to the aforementioned source, Barcelona have offered Coutinho to Serie A side AC Milan. However, the Blaugrana are aware that they might have to let Coutinho leave on a loan deal rather than on a permanent basis due to his injury record.
AC Milan are in need of an attacking midfielder after seeing Turkish sensation Hakan Calhanoglu leave to join rivals Inter Milan on a free transfer.
Philippe Coutinho has had an underwhelming time at Barcelona. Since joining them in 2018, Coutinho has managed to score 24 goals in 90 appearances for the Blaugrana. Despite overcoming his injury troubles, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is not convinced by the 29-year-old’s quality and has no plans to use him in the future.
Also Read: David James’ column – Euro 2020: 5 players who deserve more playing time
Barcelona could see mass exodus this summer
Philippe Coutinho is one of several players on the cusp of exiting the Nou Camp this summer. Barcelona are also reportedly looking to offload the likes of Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic before the start of the new season.
Junior Firpo is rumored to be joining Leeds United in this window while Miralem Pjanic is the subject of interest from Tottenham Hotspur and a host of Italian clubs. The Bosnian’s former employers Juventus are also rumored to be in the running for his signature.
One of the main reasons Barcelona need to offload these fringe players is to afford Lionel Messi’s new contract. The Argentine is currently a free agent due to a delay from Barcelona’s side in offering the 34-year-old a new deal.
Barcelona’s delay was in turn caused by La Liga’s wage rules. In order to afford Messi’s two-year deal, the Catalan giants will have to sell some of their high earners and thin down their wage list.
Also Read: Fabrizio Romano’s Transfer Roundup: Updates on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s futures, Arsenal active in the transfer market and more
Check out the latest transfer news from Fabrizio Romano, completed signings, loan deals and more.