Barcelona will drop their asking price for Philippe Coutinho to as low as €80m with fears growing that no club will be interested in signing the player at his current valuation.
It’s been anything but the fairy tale move that Coutinho had hoped for since leaving Liverpool for a deal that could be worth £142m back at the start of 2018 – with the Brazilian struggling to live up to the billing at Camp Nou before being loaned out to Bayern Munich.
Last summer Barça did their best to flog off Coutinho to the highest bidder, but no club was willing to pay an outright fee and in the end he joined Bayern on a season-long loan deal.
That move does include an option to buy the forward for €120m in the summer, but Barcelona are growing increasingly fearful that neither Die Roten nor any other club will be willing to fork out such a fee.
In 18 Bundesliga matches this season, Coutinho has netted six goals and registered a further six assists, but has been in and out of the team, starting only 12 times out of 20 in the league so far.
With Bayern unconvinced that Coutinho is worth the €120m outlay, Mundo Deportivo have claimed that La Blaugrana would jump at the chance to sell him for somewhere around €80-€90m (£68-76m).
It speaks volumes of Barça’s hopes for Coutinho in the future, with a return to La Liga and the club’s first-team plans now appearing remote.
Whether Bayern themselves would be happy to spend even a reduced fee on the 27-year-old Brazilian is another question. Their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane is no secret, and as 90min revealed in January, the German is anxious for a deal to be agreed with Bayern as soon as possible ahead of a summer move to Bavaria.
Bayern still see Sane as the ideal player to take the team to the next level, which could spell the end of any hopes Barça had about the German outfit making Coutinho’s loan deal permanent.
Other clubs linked to Coutinho in the past include Premier League trio Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool star Steve McManaman has called on the Reds to look into re-signing Coutinho.
In his column for HorseRacing.Net, he wrote: “If there’s space available then I’d certainly like Coutinho back, as he was a wonderful player for Liverpool.
“He’s that type of player that when plan A isn’t working he can change the game.
“He scored some incredible goals for Liverpool and though he’d have to win the fans over after he asked to leave, I think that most fans would recognise how good he was for Liverpool.”