Barcelona are ‘pushing hard’ to get Philippe Coutinho a Portuguese passport so they can get new signings Arthur, Malcom and Arturo Vidal registered in the first team as La Liga only allows 3 non-EU players in every matchday squad.
Coutinho’s wife, Aine, is Portuguese and the former Liverpool star is able to register as a Portuguese citizen after three years of marriage.
It is the same method of nationality change that Luis Suarez undertook in 2014, shortly after joining the club.
Suarez is married to an Italian, Sofia Balbi, and the Uruguayan was able to get Italian citizenship and free up a non-EU space in Barca’s squad to help comply with the stringent rules.
Manager Ernesto Valverde wants to give all three of his signings minutes in Barcelona’s Spanish Super Cup match against Sevilla on Sunday meaning that Coutinho could miss out unless Barca can rush through his new passport.
Barcelona actually have six players in the squad on non-EU passports but both Yerry Mina and Marlon SantosThe non-EU rule is one of the reasons why the Spanish champions have been pushing so hard for both Mina and Santos to leave this summer.
Mina skipped Tuesday’s training session as he looks to ensure a move to the Premier League, whose transfer window closes on Thursday, earlier than other European leagues, with Everton having agreed a fee for the Colombian.
Santos, meanwhile, has been courted by a number of sides in Italy with Serie A side Sassuolo keen on bringing him to the club.