Barcelona reveal Philippe Coutinho will miss ‘approximately THREE MONTHS’ following successful operation on his left knee after picking up injury in midweek
- Philippe Coutinho departed in stoppage time in Barcelona’s draw with Eibar
- The problem related to an issue with his left meniscus, which was operated on
- The injury is also bad news for Liverpool, who could still miss out on £18million
- Coutinho still needs to play 10 more games this season if the Reds are to get it
Barcelona have revealed midfielder Philippe Coutinho will miss around the next three months of action following a successful knee operation.
Coutinho was a second-half substitute in Barca’s 1-1 draw at home to Eibar on Tuesday, only to depart in stoppage time after picking up a knee injury.
Barcelona released a statement on their website afterwards confirming that the playmaker would need to go under the knife to operate on his left meniscus, the Catalan giants have been dealt a blow with the length of the Brazilian’s absence.
Barcelona have revealed Philippe Coutinho will miss around the next three months of action
Coutinho left the field with a knee issue in stoppage time of Barcelona’s draw against Eibar
And speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Huesca on Sunday, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman lamented the ‘significant’ injury to the Brazilian that sees him join fellow long-term absentees Ansu Fati and Gerard Pique.
Forward Fati is scheduled to return in March after he too suffered a meniscus injury in November, while centre-back Pique was ruled out for three to five months after suffering a partial injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in the same month.
‘It’s a bit unlucky, because we have so many important players out injured, and Philippe will be around three months out injured,’
‘He has always been an important player and will continue to be, but now he has to recover and I don’t know when he will be 100 per cent fit.
Ronald Koeman will now have to do without the player for approximately for three months
‘It is a significant injury and for the positions we have in front of us, you have to look at how we can solve Philippe’s absence.’
The injury is also bad news for Liverpool, who could still miss out on an expected £18million this season depending on Coutinho’s recovery as a result of their £130m deal to sell the Brazilian to the Nou Camp in 2018.
Part of the transfer, according to El Periodico, was that should Coutinho play 100 competitive games for Barcelona, the Spanish side would have to pay the Premier League champions £18m.
Coutinho was set to reach that mark during this campaign, with his substitute appearance on Tuesday being his 90th overall – meaning 10 more appearances in any competition this season would activate the clause.
The injury could also be bad news for Liverpool who will not get their £18m if he does not complete another 10 games between now and the end of the season
Should he return for Barcelona’s first game in April at home to Real Valladolid, he could reach the 100 appearances mark if he plays all the remaining LaLiga matches of the season.
The Brazilian could also make the 10 appearances he needs in the Copa del Rey and Champions League depending on the club’s progress in those competitions, with Barcelona set to appear in the third round in the former and having drawn PSG in the latter.
The injury would also appear to rule out a move away from the club in January.
The injury would also appear to rule out any chance of Coutinho leaving the club this month
Despite playing 14 times under Koeman this term, he has only completed 90 minutes on one occasion and had continued to be linked with moves away from the club as cash-strapped Barca look to raise funds to pursue transfer targets.
Coutinho remains under contract until 2023 and Barca are well aware of the 100-game clause they could have to pay Liverpool.
As a result they were desperate to sell and were willing to make a huge loss on him by accepting offers of around £45m.
Coutinho has joined the likes of Ansu Fati and Gerard Pique in picking up long-term injuries
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