Barcelona could sell Philippe Coutinho in order to bring Neymar back

Ernesto Valverde

Manchester United have reportedly made contact with Barcelona and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho in a surprise bid to sign him.

Barcelona signed the Brazil worldwide from Liverpool in a £142 million deal last January.

The final odd clause the two clubs agreed on after Coutinho's £142 million move, as reported by The Times' Paul Joyce, is that Barca have to pay a "premium clause" of £89 million if they want to sign any Reds' players until 2020.

The newspaper reports Daniel Levy is desperate to keep hold of the Argentinian, who has led Spurs to Champions League qualification in both of their last two seasons.

Coutinho instantly won silverware upon his move last season, joining up with a Barca side who were well in front in the race for the La Liga title.

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PSG desperately want to land Coutinho from Barcelona, but the Spanish club aren't interested in selling the Brazilian playmaker unless wonderkid Kylian Mbappe goes the other way.

The Catalan club recently released a statement in late December to deny they were negotiating a deal with midfielder Adrien Rabiot, over a summer switch. "[He is] one of the best players in Europe and he is ready to play [for] five minutes or 90 minutes". "He's got many years left on his contract and a lot to give to Barcelona".

And the Standard report that Barca are stepping up efforts "behind the scenes" to bring Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain, with that purchase funded by the offloading of Coutinho.

He's now played 34 at the time of writing, meaning the first payment has already been triggered - while Barca have already paid £4.4 million after qualifying for this season's Champions League and will do so again if they are in Europe's premier competition again next year as expected.

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