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Report: Messi asks Barcelona to offload €100 million-plus signing

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Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images

Don Balon report that Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has asked the club to let go of a major signing to free up funds in the summer. The Argentine reportedly believes that Phillippe Coutinho, who was signed for 145 million euros, should make his way out of the club. The Brazilian midfielder arrived at Barcelona from Liverpool back in January 2018. Since then however, he has not enjoyed a great spell with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona are apparently involving Messi in a bid to give him more influence so that he ends up accepting a contract renewal. His contract runs out on the 30th of June and he has been constantly linked to a move away from Spain. The biggest suitors being Manchester City or Paris Saint Germain. Since the details of his contract were leaked, it has caused a lot of stir due to Barcelona’s colossal debt.

Phillippe Coutinho has not enjoyed the best of times at Barcelona. Since his return from a loan spell at Bayern Munich, he has shown positive sensations. However, he has also struggled for fitness with numerous injuries. He has three goals and two assists this season across all competitions, but there is no doubt he has struggled to live up to his price tag. A breakdown of Barcelona’s liabilities has indicated that the Catalans apparently still owe Liverpool around 30 million euros for his purchase.

The report highlights that Messi advocates for Coutinho’s sale, however not to a direct rival. The midfielder’s current valuation lies around 50 million euros and selling him would make sense before that number drops. Even so, Barcelona would incur a heavy loss in the grand scheme of things. There are reportedly four clubs interested in Coutinho’s signature- Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Arsenal and AC Milan.

The former Liverpool man has been subject to a fair bit of transfer speculation over the past couple of years. Whether or not he is in Ronald Koeman’s long-term plans remains to be seen. However, the election of the new president and board of directors will also be an important factor.

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