Barcelona ‘will not play Philippe Coutinho’ to avoid triggering Liverpool clause

Philippe Coutinho is set to sit out the remainder of the season for Barcelona in order for the Catalan giants to avoid paying a transfer instalment to Liverpool, according to reports in Spain.

Barca are in much-publicised financial strife amid the economic turmoil caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

They have racked up debts close to £1billion and there are even suggestions they could be at risk of bankruptcy.

Liverpool will be due an additional payment of £4.5million if Coutinho plays another seven games this season, report Spanish outlet Onze.

He is currently on the sidelines with an injury but is due to be available for selection again in March.

However, he will reportedly not be considered for selection unless Barca are desperate.

It is reported Barca currently owe a whopping £112 million to 19 other teams in various transfer instalments, including a payment of £26million to Liverpool.

The Nou Camp club slashed players' wages by 70% at the height of the pandemic, but still disclosed debts of £443million.

Coutinho, 28, moved to Barca for an initial £105million in January 2018, a fee that could rise to £142million if various criteria were met.

He has endured an indifferent time with the Spanish giants, spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich, where he won the Champions League.

In all, he has featured 90 times for Barca, scoring 24 goals.

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