Philippe Coutinho's prospective return to his native Brazil has reached an impasse over the Barcelona star's elevated salary demands.
The playmaker is unsettled at Camp Nou and keen to seek a new club.
But his generous wage package in Catalunya all but rules out a move to even one of Serie A's giants.
Different club, same wages
GOAL understands that Coutinho is looking to leave Barcelona after three and a half underwhelming seasons.
The Catalans too are happy to sanction a transfer, despite the Brazilian playing a bigger part in the club's plans during 2021-22 than in previous years.
But while several Brazilian clubs have been linked with a blockbuster homecoming for the star, the chances of a deal being struck are slim.
Coutinho earns €15 million a year at Barcelona, and wishes to maintain his salary at any potential new club.
Such a figure would make him the best-paid player in Brazil by a considerable distance, and not even the likes of Flamengo, Corinthians and Palmeiras, the nation's wealthiest teams, would be able to add that wage burden to their budgets.
The Premier League is the ex-Liverpool star's favoured destination, and his management team have already made contact with clubs in England over a prospective move.
The bigger picture
Coutinho arrived at Camp Nou as one of the world's most valuable creative midfielders following five impressive years at Anfield.
But the Brazilian, now 29, has struggled to hit his stride in Spain, and was released on loan to Bayern Munich in 2019-20 after becoming surplus to requirements.
A knee injury kept him out of action for most of Barca's following season, but he has played a bigger part in the club's plans this term, featuring in 16 of the club's 18 Liga matches to date and scoring on two occasions.