Barcelona winger Philippe Coutinho has reportedly changed his mind about a January move to Newcastle after initially rejecting the club, and his exit could pave the way for Manchester City’s Ferran Torres to join the Catalans.
Coutinho is out of favour at Barca and he hoped that the sacking of Ronald Koeman, who was replaced by club legend Xavi Hernandez, could transform his fortunes.
But El Nacional reports that the Brazilian’s relationship with the club has broken down after he grew to understand that his role under Xavi will be unchanged.
The situation has led Coutinho to change his tune about a move to Newcastle, who he rejected a few weeks ago amid concerns that the Magpies could be relegated.
The 29-year-old is now open to the idea, and Barcelona are desperate to get his large salary off the books in order to finance a bold move of their own.
Selling Coutinho would allow the La Liga giants to complete a January move for Man City winger Torres, and the report claims an agreement has already been reached with the player.
The Spain international has been out since October with a foot injury, and has made just four Premier League appearances this season.
Barca are desperate to reinvigorate their forward line after losing Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to Atletico Madrid and PSG respectively over the summer without adequately replacing them.
For Newcastle, Coutinho’s arrival would be the kind of landmark signing they've appeared to be aiming for since being bought by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium.
The takeover made the St. James’ Park club one of the richest in Europe, and they will hope that Coutinho can be transformed back in England, where he starred for Liverpool between January 2013 and 2018.
The former Reds playmaker’s concerns about the club’s perilous position are well founded, though.
Eddie Howe’s side are bottom of the league table and winless in 13 games, six points adrift of safety.
It’s unlikely that Coutinho would be enthused about the prospect of Championship football next term, but his arrival could provide the spark Newcastle so desperately need to get their season up and running.
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