- Philippe Coutinho is expected to spend some time on the sidelines
- The attacker suffered a knee injury during Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Eibar at Camp Nou
- Coutinho's defeat threatens Liverpool's £18m bonus as part of the transfer deal in 2018
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Philippe Coutinho has joined Lionel Messi on the sidelines after limping off the pitch in Barcelona's last game of 2020.
The Brazilian was replaced by Miralem Pjanic in the 66th minute of their 1-1 draw against 15th place Eibar at Camp Nou earlier this week.
He will now undergo surgery a few days from now as confirmed by the Catalan club but his likely return date was kept out of the information released by the club.
This latest development could, however, deprive Liverpool of the £18 million bonus due to them as part of the £130 million deal which saw the winger joined Barca in 2018. Barca statement reads:
"The tests carried out on the first team player Philippe Coutinho have shown that the midfielder has an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee.
"Treatment will necessitate arthroscopic surgery which will take place in the coming days."
Daily Mail quoting El Periodico reports that part of the deal states that the Camp Nou outfit would have to pay their Premier League counterpart the above mentioned above if Coutinho plays 100 competitive games.
He was on the verge of reaching that mark this campaign, with his substitute appearance on Monday being his 90th overall - meaning 10 more appearances in any competition this season would activate the clause.
Coutinho was part of the Bayern Munich team that won the Champions League title last season while on loan with them.
However, he has been linked with a move away from the Nou Camp with the Catalans set to sell him and raise funds for their operations.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Barcelona came from a goal down to play a 1-1 draw with Eibar in their last game of the outgoing year.
Ousmane Dembele scored the equaliser from close range for the Catalans in the 57th minute of the encounter.
The Frenchman powered home a low shot into the left corner of the post after connecting with a pass from Junior Firpo from the same wing.
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