MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2019: Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Manchester United FC and FC Barcelona at Old Trafford. Barcelona won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Confusion over Coutinho payments as Catalan media say he won’t play for Barcelona

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho continues to have a tough time at Barcelona and reports have been mixed over whether there’s more money to come.

The Brazilian left in 2018 for the Camp Nou club in a deal worth up to €145 million, with various add-ons making up that total.

Part of those add-ons come from total appearances, paid at staggered intervals, which were interrupted when Coutinho went on loan to Bayern Munich. There he won the Champions League, scoring against and beating Barca along the way, before he resumed his Camp Nou career for 2020/21.

He has played 14 times this season for the Catalan outfit and is currently out until March with an injury – but upon his return, he won’t be considered for selection.

That’s according to local Catalan media outlet Onze, who say Barca’s priority is to save, not spend, as they are facing financial ruin.

The next payment, they say, is due in seven appearances, which would trigger another €5 million payment – but this has been reported in different fashion elsewhere.

  • The Times reported the final €5m payment was due after 90 Barca games, which Coutinho has now played
  • Sport claimed another €20m payment was due on 100 appearances
  • The Echo stated the full amount has been paid to the Reds

Clearly, there are crossed wires somewhere, and as far as Liverpool’s finances go it appears certain they have received all or nearly all the money which was negotiated by Michael Edwards.

The Sport version of events has been widely dismissed by subsequent reports and it appeared that, after Barcelona reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, there was just one final appearance-based payments to be made.

Most accounts suggested it was a payment every 15 games he featured in, meaning the 90-game marker would be the sixth and final batch.

In fairly typical fashion to sum up both his and Barcelona’s fortunes since the transfer, Coutinho’s 90th appearance for the club was a 24-minute outing in a 1-1 draw with Eibar.

Coutinho has yet to play in 2021, Barcelona have revealed debts of around €1 billion and a restructuring of the entire club is likely to take place this year, starting with the upcoming presidential elections.