Barcelona to try and force Philippe Coutinho out in January


Barcelona have decided to attempt to part ways with Philippe Coutinho in January, according to Sport.

The Brazilian has hardly been anything short of disaster for the Catalan club since his €160 million arrival from Liverpool in January 2018. A signing of a club hierarchy which is no longer there, Coutinho’s position at the club has deteriorated further following the sacking of Ronald Koeman from the head coach role. With Xavi Hernandez’s appointment expected imminently, there appears to be no place for the 29-year-old playmaker in the long-term plans.

Given the vast amount of money paid to secure his services, Coutinho was expected to make a significant mark at Barcelona straight away, but it didn’t work out that way. It remains a mystery why a club with Lionel Messi in their ranks (at the time) pushed so hard to bring him in in the first place, a player who likes to have the ball at his feet as much as possible.

Coutinho was never really a favourite for any of the coaches he’s worked with at Barcelona, and he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich, helping the Bavarians lift the Champions League trophy.

Coutinho started four La Liga matches this term under Koeman, but Sergi Barjuan, temporarily in charge of the team at the moment, has placed him firmly on the bench and left him there for the entire course of a must-win Champions League clash against Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday.

Apparently, Barcelona expect Newcastle to move of the out-of-favour midfielder this winter, and they would even be willing to accept a loan with an obligation to buy at the end of the season in order to get him off their books.