Barcelona will reportedly bench Philippe Coutinho to avoid paying Liverpool a €5m appearance fee

Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona are in dire economic straits.

Barcelona will reportedly bench Philippe Coutinho for the rest of the season in order to avoid paying Liverpool €5m as part of a clause in his contract.

Coutinho joined Barcelona back in January 2018 for a basic fee of €120m with an additional €40m in add-ons.

The Brazil international would trigger an appearance clause if he were to play seven more games for the Blaugrana. However, the club are determined to avoid paying Liverpool the stated amount because of their dire financial situation.

Coutinho at Barcelona.

Coutinho has endured a mixed spell at Barcelona since his arrival over three years ago. The 28-year-old has struggled to replicate his Premier League form at the Nou Camp and has managed just 89 appearances for the five-time European champions.

He was shipped off on a season-long loan to Bayern Munich during the 2019-20 season in a bid to rejuvenate his form.

However, the ex-Liverpool man came back to haunt his parent club as he scored two goals in Bayern’s 8-2 mauling of Barcelona in the Champions League last summer.

Barcelona debt.

Last month, Barcelona released their annual financial report which revealed that they were burdened with €1.2b worth of debt following their excessive spending in recent years.

The club also owes €126m to other clubs from past transfers including €29m to Liverpool for Coutinho’s signing.

Coutinho returned to Barcelona for the start of the 2020-21 campaign and provided three goals and two assists in 14 appearances before getting injured in January.

Coutinho appearance clause.

The Brazilian is set to make a return to action in March but journalist Javi Miguel has claimed that the club do not wish to play him for the remainder of the campaign.

Their desperate economic situation has meant that they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay Liverpool the €5m appearance fee.

“One of the club’s priorities is to save and he has variables for games played and doesn’t want to pay more for him,” said Miguel.

“Barça have to pay €5m more in 7 games and that will not happen.”

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