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BARCELONA

Barcelona's 90M euro shortfall means they must sell Coutinho

Despite bringing in 40 million euros by selling Malcom, Barça can only balance the books by selling Philippe Coutinho. The club has gone €20M over budget in signings.

Barcelona's 90M euro shortfall means they must sell Coutinho

Barça have been more active that usual in the transfer market this summer but need to offload more players to balance the books - and that might mean finding a buyer for Philippe Coutinho. Malcom's transfer to Zenit has boosted the club's coffers by 40 million euros (plus another five milllion in variables), but that has only dented the shortfall. Barcelona have spent 237 million euros in signings this summe - 120 million on Griezmann, 75 million on De Jong (which could rise to 86 million including bonuese), 26 million on Neto, 12 million on Emerson (who is still a Betis player at the moment) and 4 for buying back Marc Cucurella. On the other hand, they have raised 146.4 million euros in selling players - 40 million for Malcom, 35 million for Cillessen, 25 million for André Gomes, 21 million for Paco Alcácer, 12.9 million for Denis Suárez, 2.5 for Cardona, 2 for Cucurella (Eibar had bought the player before Barça triggered the clause to buy him back), 2 for Palencia and 6 which Betis will pay to hold onto Emerson for the new season.

No money, no Neymar

In total, that's a deficit of 90.6 million euros - a shortfall which can only realistically be covered by selling Philippe Coutinho. It also conditions the operation to recover Neymar, because basically, it means Barça have no money to spend. Since Josep Maria Bartomeu entered office, Barcelona have made sure that they stick within a budget of 60-70 million euros to bring in new signings every summer, although they have been exceptions to that rule. They have overshot that 70 million limit this year and the only way they can possibly land Neymar is by including players in the deal - something which PSG won't accept.

If they can raise 100-120 million by selling Coutinho, Barça would have a cushion of between 80 and 100 million euros to try and persuade PSG to let go of Neymar... bearing in mind that they also are looking to sign a left-back - the preferred choice is Junior, although that operation could be funded by offloading Rafinha. Barcelona have another month of juggling their finances to complete their squad for the new campaign.