Barcelona have offered Philippe Coutinho back to Liverpool in a desperate attempt to trim their bloated wage bill.
The club’s financial problems have been public knowledge for some time with the majority of Barça’s first team squad up for sale this summer.
Coutinho is no different and, according to AS, the Blaugrana are considering an audacious plan to get him off the books. Barcelona still owe Liverpool €50m for the player who they signed back in 2018. In order to save money they have offered the Brazilian back to the Reds.
Whether Liverpool would be open to this arrangement is a different matter entirely. Although Coutinho was once a favourite at Anfield, his career has nosedived since he left.
He has never recorded a double-figure scoring season at Barcelona, although he did do okay while on loan at Bayern Munich during the 2019/2020 campaign, helping Die Roten to a famous treble.
Coutinho’s wages are high and Liverpool would likely have serious reservations about signing a player who has underwhelmed for so long.
This is not the only scheme that Barcelona are hatching to trim their wage bill. Jordi Alba, who has been a loyal servant for many seasons, could link up with former teammate Luis Suarez at La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona are still hoping to agree a wage cut with Alba, as well as with Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique, but if an agreement cannot be reached all four of the players could be shown the exit door.
Ousmane Dembele’s future is even more uncertain. The Frenchman has just one year left to run on his current deal and if fresh terms are not agreed soon he could also be sold. Several Premier League clubs would be interested in his services, while Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have been linked as well.