Barcelona ‘ready to sell’ Philippe Coutinho and set transfer deadline

Barcelona are ready to sell Philippe Coutinho and have set a transfer deadline for one to be completed.

It will come as good news to a club such as Arsenal, who are desperate for a player with creativity.

That was the verdict from technical director Edu, who tried to sign Coutinho in the summer.

Barcelona had no interest in letting the Brazilian go at the time.

The playmaker had just helped Bayern Munich win the Champions League on loan and Ronald Koeman wanted to give him a chance.

But it has not quite worked out for the ex-Liverpool star, who has scored just twice in La Liga.

However, his form is not the sole reason why Barca are prepared to sell Coutinho.

According to Sport, the Catalan giants are looking to offload the 28-year-old due to financial problems at the club.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Barcelona were in a sticky situation with a serious lack of funds and that has only been exasperated by the current predicament.

Coutinho, who was signed for a fee of up to £148m, still retains a high transfer value.

Though they would have little chance of recouping the amount they spent on him in Janaury 2018, he is currently valued at £54m – according to Transfermarkt.

And for a player that is not first-choice, Barcelona chiefs believe they should cash in to get the best out of the market.

Sport further report that they have set a deadline of January 24 to offload Coutinho.

Antoine Griezmann, Pedri and Lionel Messi have all been preferred in the No. 10 option over the ex-Inter Milan ace.

Arsenal could be a potential suitor, who are desperate for a playmaker of Premier League ilk.

Club chief Edu said at Tuesday’s Arsenal fans’ forum: “It’s quite clear what we need. We need a player with creativity in the middle, we don’t have that in the squad right now.”

It comes as Mesut Ozil continues to be ostracised from the squad with his contract expiring in the summer.

A move to the MLS beckons, with David Beckham's Inter Miami a potential destination.

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