Philippe Coutinho’s miserable season at Barcelona has been compounded further after the Brazilian underwent knee surgery which effectively ends his season.
The 28-year-old has featured just 14 times for his club in the 2020/21 campaign and has not played a single minute since the end of December.
Coutinho had been a frequent starter under Ronald Koeman during the first half of the season until he ruptured his meniscus.
He underwent surgery at the time of his injury but has now been forced to go under the knife again to have an arthroscopy in his native Brazil and is unlikely to be available between now and the end of the season.
Barcelona tweeted from their official account: “@Phil_Coutinho had a meniscal cyst in his left knee successfully operated on by Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar, under the supervision of the Club’s medical services team.
“Coutinho is out and his recovery will determine his availability.”
The midfielder now faces a battle to be fit for Brazil’s Copa America campaign this summer, while his injury could scupper any plans Barcelona had of selling him.
Coutinho is believed to be one of the players Barca chiefs are keen to offload in order to raise funds amid the club’s difficult financial situation, though they could struggle to attract willing buyers off the back of his knee problem.
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It was reported last month that Barcelona were prepared to accept a cut-price fee for Coutinho in the region of £43million – a significant reduction on a player who cost them £142m in 2018.
The club still owes that amount to Liverpool for his transfer but are keen to write off the debt by offering the star to other clubs to cut their losses.
With Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay both also expected to arrive on free transfers from Liverpool and Lyon respectively, Coutinho’s chances of nailing down a first-team role next season are beginning to look bleak.