Former Liverpool star Coutinho swaps nationality to help Barca’s transfer plans

first_img 1 Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho has applied for a Portuguese passport and is set to receive it before the start of the new season.The Brazilian midfielder is able to claim dual citizenship as he has been married to wife Aine, who is from Portugal, for more than three years. Philippe Coutinho cost Barca £142million center_img The reason he is doing so is to free up more space in Barcelona‘s squad for another non-EU player.Spanish clubs are only allowed to register three non-EU players, with those spots currently occupied by new signing Arthur, Coutinho and Yerry Mina.According to Sport, Coutinho’s application to attain a Portuguese passport is now in the advanced stages and LaLiga chiefs have been informed that he will start the season with dual nationality.Coutinho, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool in a £142million deal in January, is not the first player to secure dual nationality to help the club.Luis Suarez, who has an Italian wife, did the same in 2014 to free up a non-EU space in the Barca squad.The move will not have any affect on Coutinho’s international career and suggests Barcelona are close to bringing in a big signing from outside of Europe.That new signing could well be Coutinho’s fellow Brazilian Willian.The Chelsea winger has been heavily linked with a £60m move to the Nou Camp in recent weeks.last_img