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'Barca would swap Coutinho for Neymar'

FC Barcelona were said to be considering offloading club-record signing Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League to fund a potential move for Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, however, a straight swap could now be on the cards.

Coutinho, 26, was signed from Liverpool for £142m in January last year but has yet to establish himself as an indispensable part of Ernesto Valverde’s squad.

READ: Barca disqualified from Copa del Rey?

The Brazil international was made a priority signing for the Blaugrana, with the knowledge of club-legend Andres Iniesta departing and PSG’s shock world-record deal for Neymar catching the LaLiga giants by surprise six months earlier.

However, Coutinho has been subjected to a peripheral role in recent weeks with Arthur and Arturo Vidal preferred in midfield and Ousmane Dembele gaining the trust of Valverde to feature alongside Luis Suarez and captain Lionel Messi.

Speaking to the Transfer Talk podcast, European football journalist Graham Hunter claimed that PSG facing a Financial Fair Play investigation could provide a route to Neymar rejoining the Catalan side.

“They have great plans that if Neymar comes on the market, which is feasible because of his own personal preference and because PSG are still subject to stringent checks on whether they have or haven’t breached Financial Fair Play,” he said.

“Philippe Coutinho was bought at a time when Barcelona were smarting from the way they had been treated by Neymar, they were short of answers, they set their hearts on the player and they wanted to give a very quick sop to their fans and sponsors.

“Philippe Coutinho was bought at a time when Barcelona were smarting from the way they had been treated by Neymar, they were short of answers, they set their hearts on the player and they wanted to give a very quick sop to their fans and sponsors.

“But it hasn’t worked out the way in which either party fancied that it would. If there was an opportunity to do something with PSG, where Coutinho went to PSG and Neymar came back to the Camp Nou, then the people on the board would absolutely seize upon it.”

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