FC Barcelona to sacrifice Phillipe Coutinho amid Manchester United links to bring Neymar back - reports
Posted: 10 January 2019 Time: 18:30
FC Barcelona are planning to sacrifice club-record signing Philippe Coutinho after just a year at the club, in order to fund a sensational world-record transfer return for his compatriot Neymar Jr.
The Brazil international is only a year into his contract at the Camp Nou following his £142m move from Liverpool last January.
However, he has so far failed to justify the exorbitant price tag and manager Ernesto Valverde hasn't started him in a La Liga match since December 2.
The Brazilian was identified as the ideal replacement for Neymar, while his versatitlity to play in midfield saw him touted as to star in an advanced midfield role, which club-legend Andres Iniesta fullfilled over the best decade.
However, after playing just seven minutes in Barcelona's narrow 2-1 win over Getafe on Sunday it's been reported in Spanish media that the Blaugrana are willing to part with the talented playmaker - as the only member of the squad who'd be able to fund for Neymar's return.
Manchester United are reportedly 'in talks' over a potential move which would cost in excess of £100m and the Evening Standard claims that Barca want Neymar back as a world-class addition to their ageing strike force.
With Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong likely to join the Spanish giants at the end of the season, Coutinho's exit seems likely.
The report further stated that Neymar 'would have to express his desire to return' to Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain to give the green light following his €222m move to the Parc des Princes in 2017.