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PSG or Bayern? What now for Coutinho after snubbing Tottenham loan?

11:35 BST 09/08/2019
Philippe Coutinho Barcelona
Barcelona remain keen on offloading the Brazil international, in an ongoing effort to bring Neymar back to the club, but are running out of options

Barcelona have a Philippe Coutinho problem, with the end of the Premier League transfer window seeing one potential escape route for the Brazilian playmaker shut off.

The Catalans are eager to move on the Brazilian so they can step up their attempts to bring back Neymar, with Barca only able to push ahead with that potential deal once they've removed Coutinho from their wage bill.

It had appeared likely that the 27-year-old former Liverpool midfielder would be making a return to the Premier League and, with the deadline in England approaching, north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham emerged as viable options.

The Gunners, though, passed up the opportunity to make a move, while a switch to Spurs did not appeal to the player.

Barcelona are now short on suitors who could afford to put a deal in place for a player who earns a wage packet of between €10 million (£9m/$11m) and €15m (£14m/$17m) per year.

Only four clubs still able to purchase players this summer could finance such an agreement: Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Juventus.

No member of that quartet has shown any interest in taking Coutinho off Barcelona’s hands at this stage, however, leaving the Brazilian somewhat stuck in limbo at Camp Nou.

PSG were mooted as a potential option at one stage, potentially in a trade agreement involving Neymar, but the Ligue 1 champions refused to enter into such negotiations regardless of any fee that would accompany the deal.

Bayern also appear to be well out of the running, although their plans may change now that Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has suffered an unfortunate injury and is therefore unavailable for an immediate transfer.

The German giants have been linked with Ousmane Dembele in the recent past, but they are a club that keeps a close eye on the purse strings and rarely consider salaries such as Coutinho’s.

Juventus, meanwhile, are endeavouring to push through sales which would allow them to make one more marquee addition this summer.

There is no suggestion that Coutinho would come into their thinking, but they do at least boast the funds required to pull off such a swoop should they make a late move for a proven performer.

The final option is Monaco, with the Ligue 1 outfit flush with disposable income after sanctioning a number of sales across the last two seasons.

They would be able to snap up Coutinho on a permanent basis and bring a long-running saga to an immediate close but with no discussions having been held, there is no indication that a move is even a possibility.

Which leaves Barca in the rather unfortunate position of having a player at their disposal that they no longer want, while nobody else seemingly wants him either.