Lionel Messi would prefer if Barcelona sold this star over Philippe Coutinho

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According to the Athletic (subscription required), Lionel Messi and ‘senior dressing room leaders’ at Barcelona would prefer that the club sell Ousmane Dembele over Philippe Coutinho.

The Athletic talk about Chelsea’s interest in signing Coutinho this summer, adding that the Blaugrana would accept a massive loss on the star by selling him for between £50m and £70m.

MORE: Interest in Barcelona ace dries up as €50m price tag proves too expensive

As per BBC Sport, Barcelona agreed a deal worth up to a staggering £142m to sign the Brazilian from Liverpool just over two years ago.

This deal has proved to be a disaster for both the player and the club and it’s now suggested that Barcelona will have to sell the star to raise funds for the Catalan outfit to use in the next transfer window.

The Athletic add that whilst Messi and other senior figures would prefer Dembele is sold over Coutinho, that their focus is ultimately on the club raising the money needed to re-sign Neymar from PSG.

coutinho bayern munich
Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.

The Athletic hint that were Coutinho to move to Chelsea that he’d need to accept a pay cut, the Brazil international earns a staggering £225,000-a-week – and that’s after tax.

Considering the financial impacts on clubs due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s hinted that the Blues would be reluctant to hand out such wages.

Coutinho’s loan spell at Bayern has actually been alright, however the Athletic add that the Bavarians don’t wish to sign the attacker permanently.

Coutinho has bagged nine goals and eight assists with the German outfit, however the Athletic reiterate that the ace has only featured in 40% of Bayern’s matches.

More Stories Lionel Messi Ousmane Dembele Philippe Coutinho