Sources: Barcelona need to make €124m in sales, hope to offload Coutinho, Rakitic
Barcelona must bring in €124 million in player sales before the end of the season or the club risks damaging its financial stability, sources have told ESPN FC.
They are already working hard on balancing the books before the 2019-20 financial year ends on June 30, 2020. The Spanish club used to classify income from player sales as "extraordinary" until Neymar's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain for €222m in 2017.
Since then, they have been forced to make the sale of players each year a priority for their financial model to work. The amount they must bring in this season has been fixed at €124m to ensure they don't end the year in the red. If that were to happen, club members could push for the board's removal.
Some members are already anxious about the club's economic health, with one member at Sunday's AGM having suggested the board rushed through the sale of Jasper Cillessen to Valencia in June to avoid a similar scenario earlier this summer.
However, Barca's confidence lies in the belief that they will be able to bring in good money for Coutinho and Rakitic.
Both players were used as bait in a move for Neymar last summer but neither wanted to move to PSG. Coutinho ended up joining Bayern on loan, while Rakitic drew interest from Italian duo Inter Milan and Juventus.
Bayern have an option to sign Coutinho for €120m and must let Barcelona know before June 30 if they plan to push ahead with a permanent move for the Brazil international.
"Bayern are happy with Coutinho but it is still too early to know what they will do next summer," a Barcelona source told ESPN FC. "So far, no one from the club has called us to talk about taking up the option [to buy]."
Coutinho, 27, has made a good start to life in Germany. Freed from the pressure of being Barcelona's most expensive signing, he's produced a string of impressive performances, scoring two goals and setting up three more.
Rakitic, meanwhile, has fallen down the pecking order under coach Ernesto Valverde and could ask to leave if his situation does not change between now and January.
Sources have told ESPN FC his relationship with Valverde has deteriorated. The Croatia midfielder has gone from being a guaranteed starter to the fifth choice midfielder. He has started just once this season.
Inter and Juve both moved for him in August but were unable to match Barca's expectations, despite offering the player a good salary.
PSG made a big offer for Rakitic in 2018, too, but Barca turned it down. At that point, Valverde did not want to lose a player he felt was key to his midfield, but following the development of Arthur Melo and the signing of Frenkie de Jong, things have completely changed.